China Hospitality News reader Carol Wang is from Coca Cola Beverages (Shanghai) Company Ltd. She works in the procurement division – Indirect as the procurement manager (marketing and events), in charge of procurement support for marketing and the meeting activities of the company, and the selection, assessment and management of business travel suppliers, including hotels, airlines, and business travel management companies.
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?
Usually I would look through the magazine first. Through Hotel News and Airline News I can know about the new developments in these two areas. Through Travel News I can get the necessary information about tourist destinations I am interested in. Besides, I would share some of the Promotions with my colleague.
We have launched a China MICE and 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?
I have used the website when organizing a meeting. There were several destinations to choose from but I don't know much about the hotels there. I got several candidates after a search on 51MICE.com. It is quite practical for planning events as users can get integrated information through the website. And if users want to get more detailed information, they can get in touch with the hotels.
What are your criteria for choosing a hotel or meeting venue? Which elements do you think are the most important?
Transport, hotels, and prices should be considered when choosing a proper destination. If the participants are a regular group of people, their experience should also be considered, which means we will probably try a new destination.
Which domestic hotels do you most often choose for your events?
If it is a city we have never been to, others' reviews will be important for us. For example, if a friend tells me that a hotel he once stayed at is really good, and I will probably choose the same hotel. If there is no recommendation from friends, I will choose the international brand hotel such as Sheraton, Shangri-La, Sofitel, and Crowne Plaza because they usually have better facilities and services at a reasonable prices. Traffic conditions, the distance to business destinations, and supporting facilities should also be taken into consideration.
Which hotels have impressed you most and why?
Our company has successfully held an event in Sofitel Hangzhou Xanadu Resort. It is also a place for spending family holidays. Walking beside the lake near the hotel, you will feel as if you are wandering around the West Lake.
Which hotels' banquet and catering services have impressed you most and why?
We have cooperated with Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai several times. Its gorgeous ballroom and hearty menu are highly recommended.
What problems have you encountered in using hotel products and service? What suggestions do you have for hotels?
More and more hotels now have special meeting divisions and special personnel to assist guests with meetings, which has definitely improved customer satisfaction. However hotels should improve their efficiency and quality of emergency response when there is any change during guests' events.
Have you had any unpleasant experiences during cooperation and communication with hotels? Why?
Once we decided to hold one of our company’s activities in a tourist attraction in northern China. Because it was high season then, the hotels we contacted were all very disappointing in terms of price, food quality and service.
Through which channels do you select hotels or venues for your company events?
Usually business travel management company would recommend a few hotels by the end of a year and we will determine the final partners with a request for proposal. Demand for hotels in a particular city, the facilities and services of candidate hotels, prices hotels have proposed, and the brand of hotels are factors I would consider. For meeting venues there is no fixed procedure, and it will largely depend on the meeting destination. I will get information via industry media, hotel websites and brochures. Recommendations from meeting and conference company are another source.
What do you think of the relationship between travel and fashion? Which domestic hotels have impressed you for being fashionable?
The form and content of tourism products have been changing continually; this is actually a process of chasing fashion. Hotels built at the same time usually have similar patterns of decoration and hardware facilities, which I think shows the impact of fashion during that period of time.
Can you please recommend some travel destinations to our readers?
Chengdu is a tourist destination where you can always have a comfortable stay no matter what your budget is. One can always find the beauty of the city.
What are your hobbies and which types of travel do you like?
Leisure travel is my favorite activities. I would like to spend my annual leave on the beach to get fully relaxed.
Do you have any plans for traveling in the coming months?
I hope to go to the Changbai Mountain to see the Tianchi Lake.