White Plains, NY – With China due to overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest tourism market by 2013, hotels are starting to cater for the cultural needs of the new influx of visitors.
The number of Chinese who will travel overseas is due to increase by 15% from 2010, to 66m visitors in 2011. The number of Chinese tourists is due to reach 100m by 2020, according to the World Tourism Organisation.
This summer, both Hilton and Starwood hotels have introduced changes that are aimed at Chinese travellers. The hotel chains are stocking instant noodles, Chinese teas and tea kettles in mini-bars, as well as offering Chinese tv channels and serving dim sum at breakfast.
Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, says that, when trying to appeal to Chinese guests, it is important to acknowledge their country’s global and cultural importance.
‘China is a rich, important country again, and Chinese people are very happy when this is confirmed. When you have menus written in Chinese, a Chinese flag outside the hotel, it shows them that you respect and value them,’ says professor Arlt. ‘Making Chinese visitors happy is not just a case of functionality, or of making them feel at home: it is important to confirm their status in the world.’
For more on the impact of Chinese affluence, read our Luxury Car Market: China micro market report.