LuxePulse by Gusto Intelligence is a quarterly market analysis of beauty, fashion and hospitality industries, available on an annual subscription of USD 1,400.
The latest Q3 2020 LuxePulse Hospitality provides a market scan of new traveller trends, openings and social media campaigns, influencer and celebrity collaborations, reports from outside agencies, market analysis and more.
This short excerpt looks at luxury and hospitality in China in Q3 2020:
Travel industry recovers in China
With the recovery of domestic economy, inter-provincial travel has gradually come back to Chinese consumers’ lives. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on July 17 to allow travel agencies to run cross-provincial group tours. Unsurprisingly, overseas group tours are still banned, creating opportunities for the domestic travel and hospitality sector to leverage pent-up travel desires.
The travel market had rebounded in May with 115 million travellers making domestic trips, and contributing RMB47.6 billion in revenue during the three-day May Day holiday.
There is a renewed optimism among the key hospitality groups in China. The overall occupancy rates at upper upscale and luxury hotels surpassed 86% in mid-August. Marriott, with 350 hotels in China, is expecting occupancy rates to return to 2019 levels by 2021.
The group’s China occupancy rates have increased from the lows of 10% during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak to 60% in late August. Similarly, the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has seen its China occupancy rate return to 65%.
Looking at destinations, China’s resort city of Sanya in Hainan province has been a clear winner. In July 2020, hotels in Sanya recorded 79% occupancy rate, exceeding the July 2019 rate of 64%. While the tropical and relaxed surroundsweather and a plethora of high-end hotels have contributed to island city’s popularity, the July 2020 government policy relaxing the duty-free shopping limited on the island has likely weighed on travellers’ destination choices.
The new regulation increased duty-free quota from RMBM30,000 to RMB100,000, and increased the number of duty-free product categories from 38 to 45, including liquor, apparel and technology.
Another destination winner, perhaps surprisingly, is Wuhan. The city reopened to tourists in July. One of Wuhan’s best-known attraction the Yellow Crane Tower had over 12,000 visitors in a single day in August. Group tours to Hubei province, which Wuhan is the capital of, have increased 378%.
New property openings
Langham Place opens in Changsha
Langham Hotel opened its Langham Place Changsha (pictured above) in Autumn 2020 in Changsha’s resort area, Da Wang Mountain. The hotel is designed by Wolf D. Prix from Coop Himmelblau, an avant-garde, experimental design studio from Austria.
Park Hyatt Suzhou Opens
Hyatt launched the Park Hyatt Suzhou in May. It’s Hyatt’s 88th hotel and the 9th Park Hyatt within the Greater China area. The hotel is decorated in a traditional Chinese style, with 178 rooms, 19 suites, 3 restaurants and a bar with open-air terrace.
Trip.com opens a flagship store on JD.com
On 16 August, Trip.com Group, one of China’s largest online travel agencies, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with JD.com and opened a flagship store on JD.com. This agreement aimed to expand these two companies’ cooperation in tourism and e-commerce as well as to seize the opportunity of tourist market recovery in the post-pandemic period.
UrCove is open for reservations
UrCove (逸扉), the new hotel brand by Hyatt, opened its first property in Shanghai in October. The brand is tailored to the needs of Chinese business travellers. The chain’s Shanghai property now has started taking reservations. UrCove is expected to open in Beijing, Chengdu, Nanjing and Hangzhou in the near future.
New service launches
MGM Macau launched on Fliggy
MGM Macau officially launches on Fliggy, an online travel platform owned by Alibaba. MGM posted a WeChat article on 3 June, attaching various voucher links, thereby customers can copy the links and get discount when they book the hotel’s products on Fliggy.
Hyatt WeChat store opens
Hyatt opened its WeChat store earlier in the year. Travellers now can book rooms and dining in the hotel’s restaurants via the brand’s WeChat account. Discount and credits accumulate as points for those who buy tickets via the WeChat store. This related post on WeChat got 27,000 views and 254 wows.
Mandarin Oriental provides multiple services through WeChat
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has enriched its digital experience for travellers in China by unveiling an all-inclusive booking and payment experience on WeChat. Guests can now book any Mandarin Oriental property around the globe from within the WeChat platform with just a few taps and utilise their in-App WeChat Pay account to secure their reservations.
Hilton x Dettol: Clean Stay Collab
Hilton collaborated with Dettol to provide a “Clean Stay” service which involves new features to ensure the safety and cleanness of the hotels and rooms. Hilton has also developed new hotel policies and routines to cope with the requirements of social distancing.
Find case studies, news on campaigns and offline events, social media and influencer happenings, sources and references in the full report.