Published on : Saturday, April 20, 2019
China is Marriott’s top international market and also the world’s biggest source of outbound tourists. More than half of its new hotels will be concentrated in China. However the company also has plans for India and Indonesia.
It is trying to allure Chinese customers. At the St. Regis in Hong Kong, guests can call butlers using China’s most popular messaging app, WeChat, along with other platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.
Chinese travellers in hotels of London, New York, San Francisco etc, are being welcomed by Mandarin-speaking staff, and offered Chinese newspapers, instant noodles and congee, a popular breakfast porridge.
Marriott is counting on innovation in China to help beat off competitors. Last year, two of its hotels Hangzhou and Sanya debuted facial recognition technology, allowing guests to check-in within 60 seconds using software from a joint venture with China’s Alibaba (BABA). The technology is in the pilot stage, but Marriott hopes eventually to roll it out globally. Marriott’s customers can order room service or call the front desk using Echo by Amazon.
While automation has been the game changer, the human touch is still vital. Nothing can beat a warm smile at your door with the coffee or something.