This month's China Hospitality News reader Catherine Zhou is the secretary of an America-funded drinks company in Guangzhou. She is mainly responsible for the company's administration affairs, booking hotels and arranging meetings.
China Hospitality News is committed to offering the most comprehensive reports on China's tourism industry with the object of providing the latest industry news to buyers both at home and abroad. What do you think of our products? Which columns interest you most and why?
The travel information and hotel information covered by your magazine is very useful for company MICE planners. Thanks to your timely information, we can quickly learn about the latest information from the industry: especially about travel and hotels.
We have launched a China MICE hotel meetings facilities search website, www.51mice.com, for meeting organizers. What do you think of this website? Do you have any suggestions to make? Would you consider using this product when choosing a meeting venue for your company?
The website certainly facilitates our search for hotel information. It makes all updates, such as newly opened hotels and changes in hotel facilities clear at a glance. We hope to see more meetings promotions on your website as this kind of information is useful for us when we choose hotels to cooperate with.
What are your criteria for choosing a hotel or meeting venue? Which elements do you think are the most important?
Our criteria for booking hotels for groups or meetings are as follows:
First hotel location. Hotel location is important. We usually choose a hotel based on the travel destination or meeting venue of our business travelers, since this will help them save time and cut transportation costs.
Second room rates. We sign with hotels based on the general situation of the hotels as well as our experience in cooperating with them in the previous year. After selecting a hotel, we will negotiate with the hotel according to our business budget for the year before finally reaching an agreement on price with them.
Third hotel service standard. Usually we will choose hotels that are four-star or above, or chain hotels. Of course we will also use well-known brand hotels. The main reasons are these hotels feature good service quality, good sanitation, and good security. Even there are sometimes problems, they can offer a flexible first time solution. And their staff's attitude is good.
Which domestic hotels do you most often choose for your events?
In booking domestic hotels, we often choose those that have been pleasant to cooperate with or hotels recommended by our associates.
For example, Garden Hotel Guangzhou, Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, The Westin Guangzhou, Nanjing Kingsley Sheraton Hotel, Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel – Shanghai, Pavilion Hotel Shenzhen, and Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites Landmark Shenzhen.
The reason for choosing these hotels is that they provide solid software and hardware facilities, their service is good, and their sales team can quickly respond to guests' additional requirements.
What problems have you encountered in using hotel products and service? What suggestions do you have for hotels?
The problems we encountered include:
First, some hotels don't provide a clear tariff of their Internet charge or their tariff can mislead guests.
Suggestion: the hotel receptionists should make the hotel's Internet charges clear to guests when they check-in.
Second, the receptionists at some hotels are not qualified. For example, they frequently turn down a guest's basic requests, for example for a local map.
Suggestion: although the hotel may not be able to provide a service requested by a guest, they should suggest an alternative solution to the guest.
Through which channels do you select hotels or venues for your company events?
With the exception of some special cases, usually we choose hotels for cooperation from our internal hotel information list. After this, we will go for an on-site inspection of the hotels; comparing prices, service, and any preferential policies they offer; before we finally select one.
What do you think of the relation between travel and fashion? Which domestic hotels have impressed you as "fashionable" hotels?
Now, it has become a fashion for Chinese people to enjoy foreign culture, and travel, and this is usually part of the process of improving living quality, and is a statement for this kind of fashionable life. As travel can make people feel relaxed, healthy and content, people feel refreshed after they return from their travels. This year the number of international five-star hotels is increasing in China. These hotels use foreign style for reference in both decoration and service. Of these hotels, both the decoration and the service of Grand Hyatt Guangzhou have impressed me deeply. In particular, the hotels' rooms and bathrooms are designed in a delicate and considerate manner.
Can you please recommend some domestic and foreign destinations for our readers?
I'd like to recommend Sabah in the east of Malaysia.
What are you hobbies and what type of travel do you like?
My hobby is traveling with several good friends. I prefer FIT.