CCTV-News / CNTV
Chinese visitors boost US hotel...
June 27, 2012
Chinese visitors boost US hotel business
06-27-2012 10:54 BJT
More than a million Chinese visited the U.S. in 2011, giving the U.S. economy a 5.7 billion dollar boost. Thanks to a simplified visa process, it is now easier than ever for Chinese leisure and business travelers to visit the United States.
Hotels like the Waldorf-Astoria in New York have taken notice and are unrolling the welcoming mat to greet this growing market. Robert Armstrong works in hotel sales. He focuses exclusively on attracting Chinese guests to New York’s luxurious Waldorf-Astoria.
Robert says, “We make sure that we put an electric kettle in the room, that's used for tea, heating water, sometimes people travel with noodles or something.” He visited China twice this year to learn more about what the Chinese are looking for when staying in a hotel.
He says, “Most hotels in China have slippers in every room so we make sure we include them in the welcome kit for our guests from China.” Armstrong says he also pays close attention to cultural values that could make a guest uncomfortable—like the Chinese belief that 4 is an unlucky number.
Robert Armstrong, specialty markets manager of Waldorf-Astoria says,“So we try not to assign any guest from China to a room with the number 4 and for business groups we know that if the boss is in a big suite on a floor below his assistant, it doesn’t translate.”
Hotels like the Waldorf-Astoria also offer breakfast menus that include dishes palatable to Chinese tastes. These efforts have paid off. Armstrong says the Waldorf had twice as many Chinese visitors in 2011 than it did in 2010. It’s not just the Waldorf-Astoria that is bending over backwards to cater to Chinese tourists.
The W hotel, Marriott and other large American chains are also sending their employees to China to learn more about the market and all seem to have employees who speak Mandarin and Cantonese to help and advise Chinese guests. Experts, like Charlie Shao, who organizes Chinese tours to the United States, says these details go a long way in making a Chinese guest feel welcome. He says his business is booming right now.
Shao, President Galaxy Tour USA says, “I know the market grow up very fast. The key is the visa right now - no need to wait that long. I think the U.S. consul general in China did a great job. For Chinese people before waiting maybe 2 months, now it’s around - less than 3 weeks.”
The U.S. would like to see even more Chinese visitors. Earlier this year, the State Department decided to spend 22 million dollars opening new facilities in China to speed up the visa process.
Christmas sales boost U.S. retailers: survey 2011-12-31
Embassy: Chinese visitors add $5b to US economy 2011-10-14
CCTV-News / CNTV
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