Complimentary Chinese tea and Mandarin-speaking staff are some of the key initiatives which form part of the new programme introduced by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to welcome the growing number of travellers from China.
The Zhou Dao China Ready Programme is currently operational in more than 100 of IHG's 4,800 hotels worldwide, with the number set to increase to 250 by the end of the year. Zhou Dao translates to "thoughtful, attentive or considerate".
More than 10,000 IHG employees globally have already undergone the Zhou Dao service training in Chinese etiquette, culture and hospitality, enabling them to implement the programme. Key elements include Mandarin-speaking staff working on front desk or via 24/7 phone support, acceptance of China UnionPay cards, a Chinese welcome pack, complimentary Chinese tea available in bedrooms and Chinese channels available on in-room TVs.
Kenneth Macpherson (pictured) chief executive, Greater China IHG, said that IHG has "amassed a deep understanding of Chinese consumers" since entering China more than 30 years ago. "With our unparalleled scale and distribution, as well as IHG Rewards Club, we are ready to welcome more Chinese travellers to enjoy the best ever lodging experience that they are familiar with at home."
Last month IHG partnered with Oxford Economics to publish The Future of Chinese Travel report, which forecasted that London will double the number of Chinese visitors it receives between 2013 and 2023, accounting for over 60% of all Chinese arrivals to the UK. The report also stated that some 88 million Chinese households will be able to travel overseas by 2023.
Hotels in London featuring the Zhou Dao programme include: InterContinental London Park Lane, Crowne Plaza London Kensington, and Holiday Inn London - Commercial Road.