China as such is not a new terrain for Accor since Asia Pacific’s market leader constantly has been expanding there the past 30 years. What’s new is the re-engineering of the Grand Mercure brand, specifically fitted to the upscale Chinese business traveler, the latter now called "Mei Jue".
This can be called the new decade of chain hotels: whereas the aim in the 80s and 90s still was to standardize every hotel part of a chain to the greatest extent possible in order to provide travelers with security rather than surprises, the times definitely have changed alongside guest expectations, needs and demands. And so does China -THE booming market- these days, even with a historical and cultural background where general welfare was top priority.
Accor has put this plan into action with the recent opening of the first Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya. The brand strategy rests on customized services and products plus local diversity and specialties. The Grand Mercure mixes the classic Mercure design with Chinese influences and aims to be recognized by upscale travelers in the same extent as the Mercure brand worldwide.
The pillars of the new brand’s identity are:
Combining western and Chinese cultures, guests enjoy a personalized and authentic welcome. Local characteristics play a vital role in delivering individual experiences that are unique to the respective city or area. In Shanghai for example employees welcome their guests wearing a traditional dress - a Qipao - and the western influence is expressed with a macaroon package upon arrival.
Grand Mercure cares about the well-being of their guests and therefore offers daily Tai-Chi session to all and complimentary massages to guests on premium floors.
Food and Beverage
Chinese specialties along with international dishes can be found on the menu to fulfill guests' expectations. High emphasis is put on keeping the balance between local and imported products such as tea selections and wine.
Local art is used as a mean of communicating and explaining the surrounding . Moreover inspiring walks in the area are offered to experience a different perspectives and dive into the local culture.
Accor's plans are ambitious: the first European hotel chain entering the Chinese market aims to operate 65 Grand Mercure Hotels by 2015. As of today, Accor is present in China with 7 brands, 114 Hotels in 47 cities.
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