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Chinese travellers leave the comfort zone of the group tour for do-it-yourself exploration, a new partnership between a fledgling hotel group and a marketing services company is pointing the way.
In January, Louis T Collection (Louis T), and WIHP (World Independent Hotels Promotion) launched a new initiative that connects a curated collection of independent hotels with individual Chinese travellers.
The portal in the Louis T website opens the door on essential Chinese language content about a selection of WIHP hotels, including details on rooms and suites, facilities and each property’s location.
More than that, visitors to the site will have access to a bounty of travel advice specifically tailored to the Chinese market, covering visa information, seasonality, currencies, where to visit, to shop etc, through the Plan Your Trip component. Customers can then book direct with the hotel, using a Chinese booking engine. This concept has been tested at Louis T’s first hotel, Mantra Samui Resort in Koh Samui Thailand and Plan Your Trip is the site’s most visited page.
“Though Chinese is by far the world’s most spoken language, Chinese travellers, most of the time, still have to navigate in English online when it comes to travel to overseas. Nowadays I see how my Chinese friends who travel frequently, including everyone on the Louis T team in China, search and book online.” said Grant Healy, co-founder and CEO at Louis T. “We see a great opportunity in letting independent hotels around the world share their unique stories to the rapidly growing Chinese outbound market.
Several hotels located in key gateway cities in Europe and U.S. destinations favoured by Chinese long haul travellers will be moved into the collection and more hotels will be added as demand increases.
“We have a number of clients in Europe and the U.S. interested in expanding their reach to the Chinese FIT market but don’t have the in-house expertise from both language and cultural aspects,” said Vincent Ramelli, President and CEO at WIHP.
“Both Grant and I believe that this partnership will provide our hotel clients with a simple and effective way of reaching what has become the largest outbound travel market in the world.”