Frank Wen is an area manager and the general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian. He was the first Chinese area manager in the Shangri-La Group and as well as running Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian he oversees business in Shangri-La Hotel, Qingdao; Shangri-La Hotel, Harbin; Shangri-La Hotel, Changchun; and Traders Hotel, Shenyang.
What, in your opinion, is the competitive position and competitive advantage of Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian?
The hotel has held a leading position for 12 years since it opened on December 3 1997. Our market share among the seven five-star hotels in town is over 30%. We are the hotel which achieves the highest GOR and GOP in town each year. Because of the Shangri-La brand, we continue to provide the five-star quality service and Shangri-La hospitality to our customers who choose our hotel as their first choice hotel in Dalian. We are often chosen as the exclusive service hotel to provide the service for international meetings and are the first choice for VIP guests.
Shangri-La's worldwide reservation center and regional sales offices located in key cities around the world provide us with full support on rooms and meeting sales. Shangri-La Hotel was the first hotel group in the world to offer complimentary in room broadband Internet access, and accordingly we are the first hotel in town to launch this service. Recently, Shangri-La launched the industry's first multilingual user-friendly mobile website at shangri-la.com, providing guests convenient access anytime and anywhere from their smart phone devices. This mobile website allows guests to reserve, modify or cancel a booking with real-time availability. This is also a new concept in the Dalian hotel marketplace.
What has been done at Shangri-la Hotel, Dalian in terms of environmentally-friendly products and services?
"Be a Green Hotel" is one of the hotel's corporate social responsibilities. Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian is the only five-star hotel in town to have achieved ISO 14001 certification. We have continued to pass the annual review by the ISO 14001 committee for four consecutive years. Comprehensive environmental friendly initiatives have been implemented throughout the whole hotel. The key areas are as below:
We use LED lights which can save 15,842 kilowatt hours each year. We have upgraded the swimming pool drainage system, which can save 1,040 tons of water each year. We have Installed an air exchange system which can save 147,200 kilowatt hours each year. The air conditioner's cold water pump has been upgraded to save 18,000 kilowat hours each month. By upgrading the swimming pool management systemthe hotel saves CNY14,400 each year. Cleaning hotel's central air conditioners to ensure greater efficiency. Upgrades of hotel's waste oil disposal system to KPC can reduce the waste grease in flue. We encourage a paperless office to reduce paper usage. We recycle or convert dangerous waste and the hotel's rubbish is separated into wet and dry.
Shangri-La is known for providing industry-leading MICE services, what special MICE services are offered by Shangri-la Hotel, Dalian? Please share with us your experiences of the World Economic Forum.
We do pay more attention to our MICE customers and provide more personalized services to delight them, including: Themed center pieces; planning theme dinners, including Emperor Dinner, Red House dinner, and Dalian Harbor Night Dinner; and themed coffee or tea break.
A fax machine and printer are available in organizers' room and a well-trained MICE team will provide professional service to ensure the success of the event. We also offer a well trained butler service to VIP guests.
In addition we can offer outside catering services in places such as Dalian Times Square, Dalian Shell Museum, Dalian World Exp. Plaza, Bang Chui Island, and Dalian Xinghai Square.
During the 2009 Summer Davos meeting in Dalian, we provided the catering services for the welcome dinner in Dalian Xinghai Square. It featured a traditional Chinese cuisine show and Chinese Gongfu tea performance which impressed the guests very much.
What corporate social responsibility initiatives has Shangri-la Hotel, Dalian undertaken?
Corporate social responsibility has been, and continues to be, a high priority for Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian. In fact, the hotel has been active in volunteer work since it was opened 12 years ago. Corporate social responsibility is no longer a ‘soft' addition to the business – it has become the expectation of our customers. We are committed to helping charities, respecting our staff and supporting local communities to build a better future.
The main initiatives include: Being the only five star hotel in town to found a volunteers chapter of the Dalian Charity Federation, volunteers from different departments will actively involved in social green activities including planting trees and clearing rubbish; Charity activities, the hotel organizes an annual charity ball to collect the charity proceeds for helping the poor children with congenital heart conditions receive heart operations, we have already helped two heart disease children from poor families by donating CNY40,000 for heart operations and this has become an annual charity project for the hotel.
The hotel has been actively involved in social charity activities since it opened 12 years ago. For example, in 2008, the hotel organized donations for the Sichuan earthquake and Dalian Blind Soccer Team. In 2009, hotel employees made donations for the victims of the Taiwan tsunami.
"Be a green hotel". Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian is the only five-star hotel in town to achieve ISO14001 and HACCP certificate. This is one of the key activities for CSR in the hotel.
Given the current extremely competitive environment, what new value-added services are you offering your customers?
Complimentary broadband Internet access is available in all guest rooms. Recently, Shangri-La has launched the industry's first multilingual user-friendly mobile website at shangri-la.com, providing guests convenient access anytime and anywhere from their smart phone devices. The mobile website allows guests to reserve, modify or cancel a booking with real-time availability. This is also a new concept in the Dalian hotel market.
What was your most memorable experience in 2009?
The Summer Davos meeting came back to Dalian in 2009. Over 400 VIP guests stayed at Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian. We were the exclusive hotel appointed by Dalian Municipal Government to cater for the welcome dinner in Dalian Xinghai Square. The chairman of the World Economic Forum appraised 2009 Summer Davos Meeting as the top 10 Davos meeting around the world. It is a great honor for all the employees of Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian and encouraged us to provide the better service to our customers.