Wu Xiaoyan is president of Tianlun International Hotels and a senior hotel management expert. Her extensive hotel management experience includes posts as general manager of Tianlun Dynasty Hotel and the Tianlun Songhe Hotel, and serving as the board chairman of Yuyang Hotel.
How large is Tianlun is now?
At present, Tianlun International Hotels is devoted to operating and managing star-level commercial hotels and resort hotels. The group is developing steadily. By the end of 2007, Tianlun International Hotels managed 22 hotels with 5,527 guest rooms. As one of the Top 300 World Hotel Groups and one of the China's Top 30 Most Powerful Hotel Management Groups, Tianlun was awarded the China Hotel Star Lights Award—the Best Hotel Management Group in China and the Employer of Choice of China's Hotel Industry.
How did Tianlun International Hotels come into being?
Established in 2001, Tianlun International Hotels is a hotel management group with nearly seven years' history. Then, hotels with a national brand were rare — as were group management philosophies. Most of the hotel market share in China belonged to foreign companies. Tianlun International Hotels gained confidence from Tianlun Dynasty Hotel — the original hotel it managed.
Tianlun International Hotels, as one of the Top 300 World Hotel Group, has become one of the most powerful hotel management groups in the domestic or even the global hotel industry. What has Tianlun done to make itself more competitive and international?
We adopted a series of business strategies to improve our core competence and brand power. For example, we gave priority to strategic layout when extending the business. In Beijing and Tianjin, for instance, Tianlun manages over seven hotels, most of which are four-star or five-star commercial and resort ones. After that, we went further by pushing the frontier to the first tier cities, such as Dalian, Harbin, Shenyang, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guiyang and Sanya. By June 2008, a national strategic layout has come into being for Tianlun which now conducts business in the north, northeast, northwest, southwest and south of China. In addition to careful planning, we devoted ourselves to standardizing brand images, too. We subdivided the brand of Tianlun into more specific ones to meet the requirements of different customer groups. The Radegast hotel is a five-star commercial brand introduced this year. We will launch more hotel brands with precise brand positioning in the future.
What should national brands do to improve brand awareness and core competence in face of international competition?
The past twenty years have witnessed the rise of a group of famous national hotel management companies. But frankly speaking, most of them have only one brand, and do not have high brand awareness or strong core competence. International hotel management companies, on the other hand, have different brands to cater to different market segments. Now more and more national hotel groups are putting emphasis on brand building. From 2007, Tianlun International Hotels has begun to manage, subdivide and develop new brands in line with various customer needs.
As a senior hotel management expert, you have many years experience in brand building and hotel management. Would you like to give some comments and suggestions on China's increasingly flourishing national hotel brands?
With pleasure. The huge market potential in China's hotel industry lures companies to extend their business continuously. However, we have to keep the gap between us and the international brands in mind, for business expansion should go side by side with quality improvement, both of which are indispensable to a management group. We'll choose hotels cautiously for healthy and steady development. Also we'll continue to optimize our current projects to perfect Tianlun's management mode and service quality.