Kitty Huang

Kitty Huang, Vice President, Customer Loyalty and Revenue Generation, Greater China, Wyndham, in a tete-a-tete with Travel and Tour World at ITB China preview, speaks about the changing trends in hospitality, future of artificial intelligence, China’s MICE market and more…

Conversation
Travel And Tour World – How do you assess China’s MICE market? How are you properties performing?

Kitty Huang: We are very optimistic about China’s MICE market. There are many enquiries coming for different types of meetings, conventions and incentive trips. Our hotels are doing very well as we have a brand portfolio of upscale, midscale and economy products to meet various needs of travellers and meeting planners, which gives us a very good lift on their business parts. China’s MICE market potential is not only for domestic China, but also for outbound to international destinations.

 

Travel And Tour World: What are the global branding strategies of Wyndham Hotel Group? And what new technology challenge does it face?

Kitty Huang: Well, I would rather take it as an opportunity than a challenge. In China we can see that MICE package products get more regulated and efficiency driven. So, we built a lot of connectivity on our platforms where clients may send RFPs more on it. Thanks to our brand portfolios, they connect with our hotels and guarantee their efficiency. Therefore, we can connect to our clients faster than before.

 

Travel And Tour World: How does Wyndham Hotel Group take advantage of new technology developments in the meetings market?

Kitty Huang: There are two perspectives about this. One thing is from our product perspective, we are getting strategy locations to put our brands to meet our clients’ needs.There are a lot of opportunities in China’s second-tier city and even third-tier city, like Hangzhou, Suzhou, Xi’an and Kunming. These cities’ market is booming and we have wonderful hotels to meet different clients’ needs .And the other is how we provide fantastic experience to our guests. We also provide 4-star midscale hotels besides 5-star top scale hotels. A lot of internal trainings don’t have budget for luxury or top scale hotels. These clients are equally important to us, so we provide different types of products to make sure these meetings, even small meetings are efficient and productive for our clients.

 

Travel And Tour World: How do you create great member experience through customer loyalty? And what are the key strengths of your brand?

Kitty Huang: It is a very big question. The experience can come from meeting planners. For them, we do have different approaches. Our global sales team from the corporate office provide consult services to the meeting planners. When they come to us for destination suggestions, we will give them a short list of suitable hotels which are selected based on their budget, strategy priorities, and geographic needs. This short list we provide helps the meeting planners from the beginning to the meeting dates. We will make sure their efficiency and they get regular updates on the happenings in the hotel and destination.In addition, our Wyndham Rewards’“Go Meet”is the most generous reward program for meeting planners.

 

Travel And Tour World: How is social media deployed in approaching guests?

Kitty Huang:I have to say social media and internet gives us a huge change. First of all, it makes everything transparent. The clients can get access to all the information, including rate and guest comments.The user-generated-content requires hoteliers to understand how the guest feels and respond to their needs faster than before. And we also need to make sure all the information is transparent, honest to our guests and bookers.

 

Travel And Tour World: What’s the future of Artificial Intelligence in hospitality industry and MICE market?

Kitty Huang: We are talking about AI a lot now. From my perspective, when people are travelling for MICE, the important thing is to meet people in person that is different from a call conference or video conference. People want to interact with people. AI will help us to improve and will be very helpful in managing the booking process; enhancing MICE experience such as finding agenda and other information in the meeting place, from planning of the meeting all the way down to experience on venue but these are all supporting meeting in a personalised way. In addition, the most important part is how AI supports efficiency so we have more time to connect with people.

 

Travel And Tour World: Wyndham Hotel Group is the hotel partner of ITB China, what are you looking forward to in the exhibition?

Kitty Huang: In terms of ITB China, we really want people, especially our guests, to experience our brands. The hosted buyers will be staying in Wyndham Grand Plaza Royal in Shanghai. And the other buyers will choose our other brands near exhibition center like Ramada Plaza, Ramada Hotels and Howard Johnson in Puxi side. So there are a range of brands the guests can choose from based on their budget and needs.At the same time, we will be introducing our news brands, TRYP, Wingate and Microtel during the ITB period.

 

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