Booking Hotels Whose Attention To Details Gives Guests A Warm Feeling

Michael Xiao is the account director of Youngs Group. Xiao is mainly responsible for the company's business development and maintenance, meeting venue selection, and meeting affairs arrangement.

What do you think of China Hospitality News and its bilingual products? Which columns interested you most and why?
China Hospitality News is a really professional media customized for business travelers and the MICE industry. I am mostly concerned with Hotel News, Features and Booker Opinion.

Hotel News offers the latest information on newly opened hotels. It also covers the typical hotels of different cities and this helps us save time in searching for the information by ourselves.

Features serves as a window to show the development of a city's MICE industry. It not only offers a general introduction to a city, but also covers its history and culture as well as folk customs. In addition, it also targets our company's business: especially on hotel resources and tourism. It is useful for us to expand our vision and enrich our knowledge.

Booker Opinion is a platform for me to share my experience with my counterparts in other companies.

What are your criteria for choosing a hotel or meeting venue? Which elements are most attractive to you when you choose a hotel or meeting venue?
First, it's the location of the hotel. Besides special requirements from the clients, we usually prefer a hotel that is located in a downtown area as this is convenient for the meeting attendees.

Next are the hardware facilities, e.g. the size of the banqueting hall, the condition of other meeting rooms, the condition of the hotel rooms, the Internet service, food service, parking service and entertainment facilities.

Third is the professionalism of staff. Details demonstrated by the hotel's staff ranging from the sales person, the hall porter, and the receptionist to the waiters, the service staff of the ballroom, and even the cleaners will tell whether it's the right choice to stay in that hotel.

Fourth is the price. With a background of budget cuts on the clients' side, price is no doubt one of the most important factors that affect booker's choice.

However, the most important should be the perfect combination of hardware and software.

Which companies have you cooperated with and which hotels have you chosen for your events?
Lenovo, Samsung, Land Rover, Barco, and Harper's Bazaar.

Because of the nature of our business, we have cooperated with nearly all the five-star hotels in large and medium size cities in China.

Beijing: Beijing Shangri-La Hotel , The Kerry Centre Hotel Beijing , Park Hyatt Beijing, JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, Sofitel Wanda Beijing, Hotel Kunlun Beijing, The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing, Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center.
Shanghai: Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai, Shanghai Oriental Riverside Hotel, InterContinental Pudong Shanghai, Jinjiang Tower Shanghai, Hua Ting Hotel & Towers Shanghai, Shanghai JC Mandarin, Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai.
Guangzhou: Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou, The Garden Hotel Guangzhou, Marriott China Hotel Guangzhou , Guangzhou Dong Fang Hotel.
Chongqing: Marriott Chongqing, Intercontinental Chongqing
Chengdu: Crowne Plaza Chengdu, Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel
Xi'an: Shangri-la Hotel Xi'an, Xi'an Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel
Dalian: Dalian Shangri-La Hotel, Bayshore Hotel Dalian
Shenyang: InterContinental Shenyang, Marriott Hotel Shenyang, Traders Hotel Shenyang, New World Hotel Shenyang.
Sanya: Yalong Bay Mangrove Tree Resort–Sanya, Sanya Marriott Resort & Spa, Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa, and SanYa Horizon Resort & Spa.

Which hotels have impressed you most and why?
I was most impressed by Chongqing JW Marriot Hotel. I stayed in the hotel in the summer of 2006 when I was on a business trip. When I left the hotel in the morning I received a birthday card signed by the hotel's general manager which reminded me that it was my birthday that day. I felt touched and warm immediately and I have kept the card ever since.

What problems have you encountered when using hotel products and services? What suggestions do you have for hotels?
Some hotels in China possess very good facilities but the quality of their staff is far from being satisfactory. This is a big headache for us as we always feel hard to communicate with them. I am not blindly fetishizing foreign hotels by saying so, however, through long-time cooperation, I realize it's really necessary for hotels in China to learn from foreign brand hotels. I sincerely hope that one day there will be several Chinese hotels that will make us feel proud of them.

Have you had any unpleasant experiences when cooperating with hotels? How did it make you feel unpleasant?
I feel ignored in the course of communicating with some hotels, and it's kind of feeling like "consumers are bullied by a shop that is big enough to". I think these hotels' brand strength and advantageous location that make them arrogant.

Through which channels do you choose a hotel or meeting venue?
Usually we do this by directly talking with the hotels' sales staff before settling on all the details.

What do you think of the relationship between travel and fashion?
With the improving living standards, travel has now become a kind of fashion. In travel, our vision is broadened and we get relaxed. We even want to share our travel experience with others and deliver our happiness to them. This has gradually become a fashionable lifestyle.

Meanwhile, with the pursuit of fashion by modern people, the world's famous fashion cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, and Tokyo have become hot travel spot. Fashion has driven up the tourism economy and travel has created a fashionable lifestyle.

Which domestic hotels have impressed you for being fashionable?
I think fashion is a broad concept. Speaking of the first impression, I think Park Hyatt Beijing boasts a modern and fashionable atmosphere. Simple design lines can be seen everywhere of the hotel, which makes the hotel look simple but grand. Pan Pacific Suzhou brings the role of the Chinese style into full play with its unique palace design and arrangement. Crowne Plaza Shenzhen fully demonstrates the European style hotel fashion and luxury. Shanghai Pudong Shangri-La Hotel has left me with a good impression with its unparalleled location plus the authentic Shangri-La tradition.

Can you please recommend some travel destinations, both inside and outside of China, to our readers?
I'll not give recommendations, as I've not been to many places myself due to the pressure of work. But I'd like to list some places that I want to travel to (most of these are known to everyone), and they are Jiuzhaigou, Taiwan, and Tibet in China; and the Aegean in Greece, Provence in France, and South Africa.

What are your hobbies and which types of travel do you like?
My hobbies include sports, travel, music and movies. I like FIT with my friends. With a well-designed plan, it will be great fun to travel together. During the tiring trip, we can help each other and this helps us boost our friendship. Besides, while we appreciate the beautiful scenery, we can have a good time together.

What are your travel plans for the near future?
I may go to the Maldives. I was told that due to the global warming, many islands there will disappear. I've determined that I must go there to view the beautiful scenery before the islands vanish from the Earth.