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Aussie-born Grand Mercure heads to China

Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya

Accor has revealed a re-engineering of its Australian-made Grand Mercure brand has resulted in the brand expanding to China.

The brand was unveiled at the inauguration of Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya, the first hotel adapted to the new positioning.

Known in Chinese as ‘Mei Jue’, each hotel within the Grand Mercure network in China will sport the new Chinese identity, reflecting the brand’s commitment to developing products and services tailored to its Chinese clientele.

Distinctly Chinese, the new identity has been designed to appeal to upscale consumers, and to be as recognisable to Chinese guests as the Mercure hotel brand is to travellers around the world.

According to Accor, the identity retains a sense of connection to its parent brand whilst being highly influenced by Chinese design.

“Accor has tailored the Grand Mercure brand to better suit the Chinese clientele’s needs, in a strategic country for the Group and in the context of a booming upscale domestic travel business,” said Accor’s Chief Marketing Officer, Grégoire Champetier.

“This brand is launched in the framework of our global project to modernize our brand portfolio. Our clients are now expecting brands capable of understanding the diversity and the complexity of their identity. With Grand Mercure (“Mei Jue”) the Group demonstrates its ability to have more flexible brands, that are locally relevant.”

Signature Chinese services include daily Tai chi sessions, upscale lavender-scented bathroom amenities, complimentary head and shoulder massages for guests staying on premium floors, and an emphasis on local greetings. A selection of Cognac will be available in bars alongside local and imported wines, a 24-hour congee menu will be offered and local specialties will feature on menus. Grand Mercure will also invite guests to discover the surrounding areas with discovery walks and will invite local artisans to link visitors with the arts and provide a bridge between communities. In every room, guests will discover an extensive tea selection and a welcome gift of macaroons to showcase both the hotel’s China focus and its European heritage.

With China being one of the pivotal engines of the global hospitality industry and one of the fastest developing areas in Accor’s network, the inauguration of Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya by Accor marks a major milestone in Accor’s global strategy of creating hotels adapted to specific customer segments.

Accor operates over 700 Mercure hotels in 50 countries around the world. Mercure hotels are representative of local culture and design and provide a conduit for guests to experience the hotel’s surroundings. Accor has embraced the increasingly upscale nature of hotels in China with the arrival of ‘Grand’ Mercure, a hotel brand tailored for China.

“Throughout Accor’s 27 years of operation in China, we have developed a strong understanding of the China hotel industry and the specific desires of the Chinese traveller,” said Accor Greater China’s Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Sam Shih.

He said since sharing this new, evolved version of the brand with its partners, Accor has confirmed commitments for ten additional hotels, and announced that it will expand its network to around 65 hotels throughout China by 2015.

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