A FAIRY-TALE VA­CA­TION: OPEN­ING ARMS TO KIDS As fam­ily travel be­comes in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, ho­tels are adding spe­cial ameni­ties for younger guests

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HOSPITALITY - By YE JUN yejun@chi­nadaily.com .cn

hi­nese ho­tels are pre­sent­ing spe­cial pro­grams for chil­dren as fam­ily travel be­comes a ma­jor trend in the Chi­nese tourism mar­ket.

As the sum­mer heat sweeps across China, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional an­nounced on Tues­day that kids will be able to lis­ten to well-cho­sen fairy tales with a few easy clicks on their mo­bile de­vices, so long as their fam­ily is stay­ing at one of the more than 250 ho­tels of the brand name on the Chi­nese main­land.

At a news con­fer­ence held in Sanya, Hainan prov­ince, Lawrence Ng, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional’s vice-pres­i­dent of sales & mar­ket­ing Greater China, said the com­pany will co­op­er­ate with Citic Press Group to cre­ate the “Time to Share, Mem­o­ries to Re­mem­ber” Kids Read­ing Jour­ney, a chil­dren’s travel read­ing plan. He said it would be “the first” in the in­dus­try.

It is con­sid­ered an up­grade to the ho­tel group’s loy­alty pro­gram for mem­bers and ho­tel guests, in­clud­ing Mar­riott Re­wards MAX! Kids pro­gram, Ritz Kids, SPG Mini and Le Meri­dien Fam­ily, at its sub-brand name ho­tels.

“Mo r e a n d m o r e c o n s u m e r s choose to travel with their fam­ily in to­day’s Chi­nese tourism mar­ket,” Ng said. “They hope their kids can dis­cover the world through trav­el­ing, and take travel as an­other class to ex­er­cise the body, cul­ti­vate their psy­cho­log­i­cal qual­ity and broaden their cul­tural prospect.”

A res­i­dents tourism ex­pec­ta­tion survey by the China Tourism Acad­emy, a pro­fes­sional re­search in­sti­tu­tion un­der the Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion, shows that fam­ily tours make up 60 per­cent on the tour plan­ning list.

And with grow­ing aware­ness of ed­u­ca­tion, many fam­i­lies have made read­ing ac­tiv­i­ties a pri­or­ity for their kids.

In an­other in­ves­ti­ga­tion about chil­dren’s read­ing in China last year, nearly half of kids pre­fer read­ing on elec­tronic de­vices, the news con­fer­ence re­vealed.

Ng said the co­op­er­a­tion com­bines Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional’s rich ex­pe­ri­ence in the needs of trav­el­ing fam­ily guests, and Citic Press Group chil­dren’s book sec­tion’s con­cept in of­fer­ing books that are not only in­ter­est­ing , but also of­fer good knowl­edge and taste.

Start­ing from Aug 1, ho­tel guests and mem­bers of Mar­riott’s loy­alty pro­gram can log on an au­dio book web­site by scan­ning on a QR code and start “read­ing” with their chil­dren. Mem­bers can also book­mark the web­site on their mo­bile phones and take the sto­ries home.

Citic Press Group will pro­vide six au­dio sto­ries in a quar­ter, a to­tal of 24 in the fol­low­ing year.

These in­clude award-win­ning tales from the Bologna Chil­dren’s Book­fair, and those from pop­u­lar Chi­nese sto­ry­tellers in­clud­ing Wang Kai, dubbed un­cle Kai, a for­mer an­chor with China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion.

Elec­tronic read­ing is just one among many ac­tiv­i­ties ho­tel brands un­der Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional of­fer to their guests.

Sum­mer camps

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At Sanya Mar­riott Ya­long Bay Re­sort & Spa’s in­ter­na­tional sum­mer camp, chil­dren are happy to learn surf­ing, as­sisted by pro­fes­sional train­ers with in­ter­na­tional back­grounds.

Par­ents could be sur­prised if their chil­dren un­ex­pect­edly stand up on the surf­ing board, en­cour­aged by a con­sid­er­ate team of train­ers.

The ho­tel has co­op­er­ated with Cana­dian out­door ac­tiv­ity com­pany In­sight Ad­ven­tures to launch a mini day camp for chil­dren aged 6 to 14, from last Mon­day through Aug 26.

Kids will learn out­door sur­vival skills and de­velop prob­lem solv­ing abil­i­ties through ac­tiv­i­ties such as raft build­ing and pitch­ing a tent.

There are also plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties for the whole fam­ily. Sum­mer camp fam­i­lies can go to­gether to a pic­nic on a lawn, where food and var­i­ous games for the kids are ready. The lawn is also good for a bar­beque in the evening. Af­ter that, they can visit the Quan Spa for an in­ter­est­ing fish treat­ment ses­sion where small fish come nib­bling on your feet in a tub.

Then, the kids will al­ways like to play on the ho­tel’s beach, known for its fine sand, which is com­fort­able to tread on, while the adults can use elec­tric beach carts.

The sea waves might be a bit too big to swim in the sea in sum­mer, but it is al­ways fun to ac­com­pany chil­dren as they play with sand, col­lect shells, and dis­cover traces of small crabs in the evening.

In Sanya alone, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional has nine brand names and 13 ho­tels.

The SPG Mini pro­gram, which cov­ers all Star­wood ho­tels on the Chi­nese main­land, of­fers free lunch buf­fet or din­ner for chil­dren younger than 12.

Chil­dren who check in at Westin, Meri­dien and St. Regis brand name ho­tels will be greeted with spe­cially of­fered foods, lovely sou­venirs, and a bathrobe and slip­pers spe­cially de­signed for kids.

Small de­tails for the ben­e­fit of chil­dren abound at the Westin Sanya Hai­tang Bay Re­sort. A swim ring for kids, a plas­tic bucket with

Lawrence Ng, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional’s vice-pres­i­dent of sales & mar­ket­ing Greater China

For other fam­ily trip choices, one could check out Hong Kong Dis­ney Ex­plorer’s Lodge. Ac­cord­ing to the ho­tel, close to 60 per­cent of its area is ded­i­cated to green­ery, with more than 170,000 plants grow­ing on ho­tel grounds.

More than 1,000 ar­ti­facts are on dis­play, col­lected through­out the world, and in­fus­ing unique Dis­ney el­e­ments.

Hil­ton Bei­jing Cap­i­tal Air­port pro­vides din­ing ta­bles and chairs spe­cially de­signed for the safety and con­ve­nience of chil­dren. A kids’ en­ter­tain­ment gar­den is equipped with var­i­ous toys, along with car­toon films and a read­ing room.

As part of the ho­tel’s reg­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, chil­dren can play the role of a ho­tel man­ager to in­ter­act with ho­tel chefs and guests. They can also at­tend an avi­a­tion class to learn about fly­ing and have a flight vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence.

Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Bei­jing has a Fam­ily First Pro­gram to ex­pe­ri­ence Chi­nese cul­ture in the cap­i­tal.

Fam­i­lies can dis­cover ce­ramic trea­sures by tak­ing a trip to the home of “Un­cle Yu”, who is known as the king of Chi­nese ce­ram­ics and whose home is a ver­i­ta­ble ce­ram­ics mu­seum, similar in scope and size to the col­lec­tion at the For­bid­den City. They can also visit the Bei­jing Old Ob­jects Mu­seum in a with over 10,000 cul­tural relics.

The cap­i­tal’s 798 Art Dis­tinct and Kids Spa are also on the to-do list.

par­tic­i­pate in rock climb­ing un­der the pro­tec­tion of train­ers.

hu­tong, small tools to play with sand, and a car­toon fig­ure tooth­brush, and cush­ions on the edges of fur­ni­ture to pro­tect chil­dren — these are the sorts of well-thought-out ameni­ties that win the hearts of both kids and their par­ents. Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional an­nounced the de­but of the Fair­field by Mar­riott brand in China with the open­ing of Fair­field by Mar­riott Nan­ning Nanhu Park in the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion on July 6, mark­ing the first move among its ex­pan­sion in the bur­geon­ing mar­ket for the next five years.

AWARDS

The 2017 Semi­fi­nal Round of Judg­ing of 45th In­ter­na­tional Emmy Awards, which was held at Shang­hai Hongqiao State Guest Ho­tel ear­lier this month, aims to in­spire more cre­ations and pro­vide a plat­form to seek ex­cel­lent works and busi­ness part­ners, its or­ga­niz­ers said. The Tem­ple House, Chengdu, part of The House Col­lec­tive by United States beef re­turned to the Chi­nese mar­ket for the first time in 14 years last month. The In­terCon­ti­nen­tal Bei­jing San­l­i­tun is among the ear­li­est adopters, with its Char Din­ing Room and Lounge steakhouse al­ready in­cor­po­rat­ing US steaks into its pre­vi­ously Aus­tralian-dom­i­nated menu. With wine pair­ings, a se­lec­tion of in­fused salts and views over the fash­ion­able San­l­i­tun Taikooli shop­ping district, Char of­fers pre­mium sir­loin and rib-eye steaks at 468 yuan ($69) per 200 grams and 488 yuan per 200g, re­spec­tively. The St. Regis Chang­sha in Cen­tral China’s Hu­nan prov­ince pre­sented an Ital­ian feast dur­ing a five-day culi­nary fes­ti­val start­ing on July 14, with two Miche­lin-starred chefs En­rico Gerli and Paolo Gra­maglia from the Euro­pean coun­try shar­ing their per­cep­tion of food with par­tic­i­pants. Pasqualino Bar­basso, an Ac­ro­batic Pizza World Cham­pion, taught chil­dren how to make pizza dur­ing the event.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional will co­op­er­ate with Citic Press Group to launch on the Chi­nese main­land on Aug 1. “Time to Share, Mem­o­ries to Re­mem­ber” pro­gram de­signed for chil­dren across its ho­tels

With the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of fam­ily travel among Chi­nese tourists, more hote­liers are of­fer­ing spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences to at­tract this newly tar­geted group.

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