Shangri-La introduces new service initiative for Chinese travellers

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has introduced a new service initiative for outbound guests from mainland China; Xiang Ju.

In a statement, Shangri-La said the the programme, which features seven signature services and bespoke local experiences for Chinese guests, will first launch on 1 August at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong. By the end of the year, Xiang Ju will be expanded to all Shangri-La branded  hotels and resorts based outside of mainland China, totalling 41 properties in 35 destinations including London, Tokyo, Sydney and the Maldives.

“Centred on Shangri-La’s hallmark ‘hospitality from the heart’ and built on the company’s extensive experience of operating in China for over 30 years, Xiang Ju, or get together at Shangri-La, ensures Chinese guests have meaningful experiences away from home and feel comfortable in their surroundings abroad,” the statement read.

The deck of a beach villa in Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa in Maldives. PHOTO/ SHANGRI-LA

The new programme’s seven services include:

  1. WeChat Assistant: Upon confirmation of a hotel booking, guests will be given a QR code to scan and connect with the hotel’s special China Guest Action Team on WeChat for instant communication, regardless of time and location.
  2. The Bespoke Experience: Guests will be offered the services of a Mandarin Chinese-speaking guide to explore a destination and its local culture.
  3. We Speak Chinese: Mandarin Chinese-speaking staff will be on hand at the host hotel to assist with guest queries and small details.
  4. Please Be Informed: Important hotel information printed in Chinese, which includes safety procedures, food and beverage services, floor plans and an emergency contact, will be provided upon check-in and will also be available electronically via a QR code.
  5. Tea Service: The hotels will provide a variety of Chinese teas allowing guests to enjoy their preferred drink away from home.
  6. Your Food – The Seven Wonders: Seven different types of Chinese congee, originating from different regions in China, will be available for breakfast.
  7. A Taste of Home: Chinese comfort food, namely noodles and congee, will be available to order from the hotel’s in-room dining menu for late-night snacking.

“Shangri-La is well recognised for its distinctive Asian hospitality from the heart. Currently, we have over 95 hotels around the globe, with nearly half of them located in China. Being an Asian hotel brand with over 30 years’ experience in China, we have a deep understanding of Chinese guests needs. We want our guests to take away memorable and rich experiences when staying with us abroad while enjoying the cultural comforts from home,” Sarah Chen, Shangri-La’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, was quoted in the statement as saying.

According to Shangri-La, to introduce the Xiang Ju programme, 11 Shangri-La hotels and resorts from Hong Kong, Paris, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, Boracay, the Maldives, Mauritius and Oman presented their hotels and services to Beijing and Shanghai audiences at China World Summit Wing, Beijing on May 22 and at Jing An Shangri-La, East Shanghai on May 24.

The spa in Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa in Maldives. PHOTO/ SHANGRI-LA

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La International Hotel Management Limited, one of the world’s premier hotel management companies, currently operates over 95 hotels in 22 countries and 73 destinations under the Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen and Traders brands.

In the Maldives, Shangri-La runs the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa in the southernmost Addu atoll and the Hotel Jen in capital Male.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa is located just a five-minute boat ride away from Gan International Airport, which has direct connections to neighbouring Sri Lanka as well. The luxury resort is a collection of 132 private villas nestled across emerald green jungle and stunning turquoise shoreline.

China has maintained its position as the single biggest source market despite falling numbers over the past year. In 2016, the Maldives welcomed 324,326 visitors from China, which was a 9.8 percent drop compared to the previous year. However, the Maldives recently announced plans to step up marketing in China in order to increase the number of Chinese tourists to one million per year.

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