U.S. Hotels Welcome Chinese Visitors
In 2011, more than one million Chinese visited the United States, pumping nearly $5.7 billion into the economy. Thanks to China’s growing number of millionaires, middle class and working Gen Xers and Millennials – and President Obama’s order to boost the number of visas for Chinese visitors by 40% – that number is expected to reach two million by 2015. In response, U.S. hotels are scrambling to win Chinese business, hiring Mandarin speakers and providing creature comforts ranging from Chinese tea, slippers and Chinese TV channels, to Chinese breakfast. One of the most comprehensive hospitality programs to welcome Chinese guests was introduced in August 2011 by our client Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
Hilton Huanying takes its name from the Chinese word for "welcome." One year after its launch, Hilton Huanying has grown from 30 participating hotels in 13 countries to 70 hotels in 23 countries. As testimony to its effectiveness, in the first seven months of 2012, bookings by Chinese guests increased 129% at Hilton Huanying participating hotels over the same period last year. In August 2012, to celebrate the first anniversary of Hilton Huanying, Hilton unveiled a limited-edition slipper designed by iconic international designer Vivienne Tam. The “Water Dragon” slippers are given to Chinese guests in participating Hilton Huanying hotels, to use while visiting and to take home, a lovely souvenir of their stay.
In 2012, our client The Peninsula Hotels, Asia's oldest luxury hotel group and China's first luxury accommodation brand, introduced "The Very Best of America by The Peninsula" package, which draws on its Asian heritage to provide a tailored experience for Chinese travelers in each of the American cities where Peninsula has hotels – New York, Chicago and Beverly Hills.