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Accor eyes lucrative China market as Lunar New Year nears

As Australian hotels embrace the concept of catering for Chinese guests, one hotel group is going over and above to entice citizens of the Asian powerhouse Down Under for the Year of the Pig.

AccorHotels across the country will be going to town on Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations as visitors flock to Australia from 5 February to enjoy the festivities with family and friends.

The two-week celebration will see the group’s hotels from ibis to Sofitel decorated with red lanterns, tea stations and bright floral displays and offering guests special dining menus.

On check-in at various properties across the country, guests can expect to see lion and dragon dancing displays, red envelopes filled with chocolate gold coins and front office staff dressed in traditional costumes during the festival period.

Accor has embedded its Optimum Service Standards program across 50 Australian properties to cater for the growing inbound market from China.

Staff routinely receive cultural training to better understand Chinese travellers’ service expectations, preferences and sensitivities, while the group offers translated welcome kits, Chinese food and drinks on menus and in mini-bars, and Chinese location maps, newspapers and television channels for guests. 

Food is a major focus of its Lunar New Year push, with The Pullman Adelaide, for example, hosting a traditional three-course banquet at its signature Salt restaurant accompanied by premium Chinese beer.

Novotel Surfers Paradise will go one step further, offering guests at its Hanlan’s Restaurant a seafood buffet of  rotating items presented on an authentic Bamboo Tower display.

Sydney’s Pullman Sydney Hyde Park will present a Taste of Asia curated tasting plate alongside signature Singapore Slings at the Bar Rendezvous, while the Hop Sing Bar & Food outlet at Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens really embraces the Year of the Pig theme with pork and water chestnut dumplings, shredded pork spring rolls and pork belly bao, accompanied by a Chinese New Year cocktail specially created to complement the  dishes. 

Properties in Hobart, Cairns and Margaret River will also feature special menus dedicated to Lunar New Year celebrations.

Chief operating officer of AccorHotels Pacific, Simon McGrath, said: “Chinese New Year is always a special time of year for hotels and our guests, and it is pleasing to see so many of our hotels going to great lengths to celebrate 2019’s Year of the Pig.

“The trend of strong inbound growth from Greater China continues to have a positive impact on our hotels and we’ve experienced a growth of over 160 percent year-on-year in online room nights booked by outbound China travellers. 

“The growth through these channels reflects the trends from the Chinese market as we experience a surge in free independent travellers  and a shift away from the traditional shopping tour groups.

“This is exciting news for our hotels particularly out in regional areas of Australia as the free independent traveller is more confident to venture off the beaten track and go to places not frequented by large numbers of tourists.”

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