As Chinese tourists flock to Australian shores, the Year of the Rooster will be celebrated at over 50 AccorHotels across the country from January 28, 2017.

The two week festival will see AccorHotels, from ibis to Sofitel, decorated with red lanterns, tea stations, and bright floral displays. Upon check-in, guests can expect to see front office staff dressed in traditional costumes at many hotels, while Lion Dancers will be a highlight at some.

A Mandarin tree with hanging red lanterns and red envelopes will be on display in the lobby at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, while a light projection emblazoned Year of the Rooster will feature on wall panels. The hotel’s Bistro On3 breakfast buffet will include a selection of Chinese food including pork and cabbage wonton soup, steamed dim sum, pork buns and gyoza as well as a daily noodle or rice special dish.

Traditional Chinese Dragon Dancers will be a drawcard at the newly renovated Pullman Reef Casino in Cairns and the Mayor of Cairns will be officially welcoming Chinese New Year at the hotel and launching CADAI (Cairns and District Chinese Association Incorporated). The hotel lobby will feature cherry blossom trees and Chinese lanterns and the exterior of the hotel will be illuminated red at night. The 5-star hotel has just completed a $6.5 million renovation of all its level one public areas.

Novotel Melbourne St Kilda will be flying the Chinese New Year flag outside the hotel and will host a special Chinese New Year dinner with staff dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, while Chinese music and karaoke will be playing. The lobby will be decked with Chinese lanterns and red envelopes with chocolate gold coins placed in guestrooms.

In Sydney, Novotel Brighton Beach will be serving Peking Duck pancakes while whole Peking Ducks will be on display at a live action station in Bay Garden Restaurant. Chocolate gold coins, fortune cookies and a candy tray of assorted Chinese treats will also feature.

AccorHotels COO Pacific, Simon McGrath, said: “Chinese New Year is always a special time of year for hotels and our guests, and it is pleasing to see so many of our hotels going to great lengths to celebrate 2017’s Year of the Rooster.

“Chinese New Year celebrations are an extension of our Optimum Service Standards program Hao Ke Ya Gao in partnership with China Ready and Accredited, which enables our hotels to better cater for the growing Chinese inbound travel market. Pleasingly we now have 53 hotels which are accredited in this program and bringing greater services and benefits to our Chinese guests.

“The trend of strong inbound growth from Greater China continues to have impact on our hotels and we’ve experienced a 19.7% increase in bookings made by Chinese travellers via our online systems in 2016.

“The growth through these channels reflects the latest trends from the Chinese market as we experience a surge in FIT travellers and a shift away from the traditional shopping tour groups.

“This is exciting news for our hotels particularly out in regional areas of Australia as the FIT traveller is more confident to venture off the beaten track and go to places not frequented by large numbers of tourists,” he said.

The Optimum Service Standards program Hao Ke Ya Gao includes training for AccorHotels staff in cultural differences, Mandarin speaking staff, translated welcome kits, Chinese dishes included on menus and mini-bar products, Chinese location maps, newspapers and television channels. UnionPay is also accepted at over 30 AccorHotels which enables guests to conveniently settle their room account with their domestic debit banking card.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management