Mak­ing room for de­vel­op­ment of dig­i­tal-age ho­tels

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - ByWANG ZHUO­QIONG wangzhuo­qiong@chi­nadaily.

When Chi­nese trav­el­ers were asked by a re­cent sur­vey to name three ho­tel fa­cil­i­ties most im­por­tant to them, they put free Wi-Fi at the top. It re­ceived a weight­ing of 23 per­cent.

Ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional Travel Mon­i­tor 2016, con­ducted byHo­tel.com, an on­line book­ing plat­form, trav­el­ers’ pref­er­ences sig­nal the grow­ing sig­nif­i­cance of dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity in the ho­tel in­dus­try.

Free wire­less in­ter­net ac­cess is con­sid­ered so im­por­tant be­cause al­most all Chi­nese trav­el­ers stay in touch with fam­ily and friends while abroad.

For 73 per­cent of the 3,000 Chi­nese out­bound trav­el­ers sur­veyed for the re­port, the top mode of con­tact is free Wi-Fi at ho­tels or pub­lic places. The re­port also sur­veyed 5,800 hote­liers glob­ally in­May.

So, ho­tels now plan to of­fer a wide range of newservices and pack­ages for Chi­nese trav­el­ers. Some 45 per­cent al­ready pro­vide free Wi-Fi. And, 46 per­cent more plan to of­fer it sooner than later, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. Only 9 per­cent of the ho­tels sur­veyed said they are yet to fi­nal­ize Wi-Fi plans.

Also, the sur­vey found im­por­tant dif­fer­ences in the needs of the guests in dif­fer­ent re­gions.

For in­stance, free Wi-Fi is the most fre­quently re­quested ser­vice in all re­gions, but was par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in North and Latin Amer­i­cas.

Jes­sica Chuang, re­gional mar­ket­ing direc­tor, Ho­tels.com, Greater China, South­east Asia and In­dia, said: “Tech­nol­ogy has be­come an es­sen­tial part of travel, from plan­ning, book­ing, to ev­ery mo­ment of your jour­ney.

“You can find more and more of our ho­tel part­ners have launched dif­fer­ent tech­nol­ogy el­e­ments in their prop­er­ties, like self-check-in lobby, in-room dig­i­tal con­trol, so on.

of the 3,000 Chi­nese out­bound trav­el­ers sur­veyed be­lieve the top mode of con­tact is freeWi-Fi at ho­tels

of 108 co­conut husks used to sell for over 5,000 yuan. Now, it is hard to even find sales of co­conut husks in the mar­ket as de­mand has been tepid.

Liu Shuangzhou, a pro­fes­sor at the law school of the Cen­tral Univer­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nom­ics, said: “Con­sumers should con­sider their in­come lev­els and de­cide how much they should spend on art­works. Art­work con­sump- tion should be trans­formed from an elite con­sump­tion to a mass-based busi­ness.

“In­vestors should as­sess the risks of in­vest­ing in cer­tain art­works and fine goods, rather than as­sess their value. And buy­ers must ap­praise art­works them­selves. All this is con­sis­tent with the con­cept of sup­ply-side re­form, which em­pha­sizes that goods should be priced cost-ef­fec­tively and in line with their ac­tual value.”

a sign that so-called unique­wal­nuts are not re­ally rare, hence not col­lectibles.

De­mand damp­ened, bring­ing the soar­ing­wal­nuts back to terra firma. Prices have plunged about 90 per­cent since last year, caus­ing heavy losses to hoard­ers.

Ex­perts said cur­rent­wal­nut prices are­more ra­tio­nal. They also urged­col­lec­tors toavoid risky in­vest­ments as bet­ter stocks of wal­nuts en­ter the­mar­ket ev­ery year, po­ten­tially de­valu­ing the pre­vi­ous­batch, al­though truly rare wal­nuts re­tain their in­trin­sic value for long pe­ri­od­sof time.

Leg­end has it that­wal­nuts as play­things have been pop­u­lar in China for over 2,000 years. Since an­cient times, Chi­nese peo­ple fromem­per­ors to civil­ians liked col­lect­ing­wal­nuts. This gave rise to a cul­ture ofwal­nut col­lec­tion. Wal­nutswere prized not just for their nu­tri­tious value and rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing a brain food but for their dis­tinct fea­tures.

Chen Bao­cong, a renowned wal­nut col­lec­tor fromZhe­jiang prov­ince, said: “The pri­mary pur­pose of play­ing with­wal­nuts is to build a good body and im­prove health. Sci­ence shows that mas­sag­ing the palms with wal­nuts could help slow ag­ing and pre­vent car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and apoplexy.”

DONG NING / FOR CHINA DAILY

A model stands be­side a Du­cati mo­tor­cy­cle dur­ing a re­cent mo­tor fair in Bei­jing. Du­cati is bring­ing more of its mod­els to China.

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