Accor hotels in Australia are preparing to ring in the Chinese New Year with a host of festive activities taking place throughout February.
Chinese New Year will be celebrated at 37 of Accor’s accredited hotels in Optimum Service Standards for Chinese visitation, with red Chinese lanterns adorning hotel lobbies and ‘Happy New Year of the Snake’ signs on display alongside Chinese flower arrangements.
Guests will receive welcome kits containing red envelopes with chocolate gold coins and enjoy specially prepared food and beverage offerings such as dumplings, noodle dishes, sticky rice cake, sweets, fortune cookies and Chinese fruits, teas and beer.
Participating hotels are set to go all out with Swiss Grand Resort Bondi planning to theme its lobby with a dragon and food stalls. In Tasmania, Mercure Launceston will have dragon dancers in the lobby to entertain guests, while Mercure Cairns Harbourside will have a live snake on display in the foyer to symbolise the Chinese New Year.
To date, 37 of Accor’s Australian hotels have been accredited to provide Optimum Service Standards for Chinese guests, paving the way for Accor to better cater to the specific cultural needs and growing number of Chinese travellers.
Accor is the first hotel group in Australia to introduce these service standards, which enable accredited hotels to meet the high service expectations of Chinese guests year-round, especially over the busy Chinese New Year period.
Last year Accor’s Australian hotels recorded an 18.3 per cent increase in Chinese guests and is forecasting even stronger growth in 2013, particularly with the increase in flights from airlines servicing the China market and tourism marketing campaigns.
The hotels have adopted services to meet the needs of this fast emerging market including the translation of hotel welcome kits, menus and business cards, Chinese meals and utensils in the restaurant, Chinese adaptor plugs, TV channels and newspapers to make guests from China feel at home.
In addition, regular training and education programs are held for Accor staff to learn basic Chinese greetings and cultural practices so they can better understand and respectfully serve these guests.
Since 2005, Accor has built a good track record with Chinese guests. With the Chinese inbound market representing one of the greatest growth opportunities, the group is looking to boost the number of accredited hotels from 37 to over 50 in the next year.
“We have been very fortunate to build up some great relationships with our Chinese partners and have already seen the impact that our Chinese Optimum Service Standards have made in terms of bookings,” said Accor Chief Operating Officer Pacific Simon McGrath.
“We want to send a strong message to potential Chinese travellers that we are pulling out all the stops to provide them with the best possible service when they get here.
“Chinese visitors are increasingly sophisticated and they have high expectations in terms of service,” he said. “Accor has introduced specific training that will ensure our staff are attuned to the sensitivities and preferences of our Chinese guests so that they experience Australia in the best way possible.”