Marriott is taking the lead in upgrading tea service for some very tea savvy customers. The hotel chain employs Chinese speaking staff and serves tea Chinese style.
Last week the staff at the New York Marriott Marquis welcomed 1,500 Chinese guests attending an Amway convention.
“We replaced the carafes so these guests could make tea each morning,” Kathleen Duffy, Marriott International’s market director of public relations/NYC told NBC News.
She said that many more Chinese citizens are visiting the U.S. which has led staff at Hilton, Starwood and Marriott offer additional training in greeting visitors and assigning rooms.
The New York Marquis had already assigned names (Royal, Pinnacle, etc.) to presidential suites to avoid room numbers beginning with the number 4, a number that the Chinese consider unlucky, according to the CNBC report.
In 2013 an estimated 1.8 million Chinese tourists visited the United States. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism anticipated a 21% increase to more than 2.1 million in 2014. The pace will continue through 2018 averaging 20% growth per year.
Los Angeles receives the largest number of Chinese visitors followed by New York.
Marriott has seen a 17% growth in 2013 over 2012 for the Chinese market, according to Robert Ambrozy, Marriott international sales director for the New York City region.
In Chicago, where the number of Chinese visitors is up 30%, the Hyatt introduced a “Nin-Hao” welcome program.
Visitors from China spend an average $6,000 during their stay, generating $8.8 billion in 2013, according to the U.S. Travel Association, an industry trade group.
The Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. is a $520 million project and the city’s largest hotel. The facility spans an entire city block. It has an all-glass roof top with 1,175 rooms including 49 suites and five in-house restaurants. It is located on Massachusetts Ave., NW, adjacent to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Source: CNBC, Marriott Hotels