With analysts forecasting a considerable drop in arrivals this year from Europe and the Middle East due to visa restrictions as well as the strong dollar, which makes travel to the U.S. disadvantageous, hotel operators in many major U.S. markets are understandably concerned.
There’s one bright spot when it comes to international arrivals, however, that should go a long way to reassure not only hotel operators, but those in other aspects of the hospitality industry as well.
That bright spot is China, with its rapidly growing middle class. Each year, the number of Chinese visitors continues to increase significantly, a trend that shows no sign of abating. Major hotel companies were quick to see an opportunity to increase their share of this expanding market segment.
Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide were among the first to introduce programs designed to make Chinese guests feel comfortable when staying in their respective branded hotels. This year, they were joined by InterContinental Hotels Group, which introduced an initiative named Zhou Dao, which is Mandarin for “Welcome.”
As part of Zhou Dao, Chinese guests are greeted with a welcome letter in Mandarin. Their guest rooms are stocked with slippers, a tea kettle and green tea, all reminders of their home country. M&R Hotel Management supports all such efforts. Whatever their country of origin, we want all our international guests to feel at home while staying with us.
Given the potential of the outbound Chinese market, formalized programs like Zhou Dao make sense. Meanwhile, our front desk agents and other associates are trained ─ and work hard ─ to extend the warm hand of hospitality, each and every day, to those checking in from Buenos Aires, Beijing, Stockholm, London, Dubai and every other city under the sun.