The InterContinental Montréal is ready to kick off 2018, the year of tourism between China and Canada, with its Zhou Dao program. Commonly known as the “China Ready” program launched by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 2015, the Montréal hotel is now personalizing the experience for its Chinese guests.
Upon arrival, the visitors will be greeted by employees who have received in-depth cultural training. Beginning with a welcome letter written in Mandarin, each room will be well-appointed with slippers, a Chinese tea set, a kettle and complimentary bottled water throughout their stay to ensure optimal comfort. And to further enhance the level of hospitality, Chinese guests will have special access to premium television channels from China so they can stay in-touch with current events back home.
Also to properly welcome and communicate with Chinese guests, IHG has developed the IHG Translator. Free of charge and voice-activated, this application will facilitate conversation with non-Mandarin speakers they will meet during their stay. Nothing has been left to chance to make their visit to Montreal as stress-free as possible. The InterContinental Montréal is also the first hotel in Montreal to accept payments via WeChat Pay and Ali Pay platforms in addition to the traditional Union Pay cards.
Bernard Chênevert, General Manager of the InterContinental Montréal, reports: “IHG and the InterContinental brand already have a strong presence in China so they possess extensive knowledge of the Chinese clientele. As a leader in the hospitality industry, it is natural that IHG extends this expertise internationally. In fact, IHG is the first hotel group to implement a program like Zhou Dao which is now in its third year since inception.”
Tourism for Chinese visitors is booming across Canada and in Montréal. As a result, the hotel is making every effort to attract and cater to this sought-after clientele. Hotels stand to benefit as the number of Chinese visitors has more than doubled in Montréal over the last 3 years to approximately 120,000 visitors in 20171.
For 2018, the Conference Board is anticipating an increase of 15% in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Quebec’s metropolis, the strongest growth across all markets. Over the next 5 years, Tourisme Montréal estimates that China could be ranked second among the off-shore markets for Montréal2.
Also, over the last 18 months, the number of direct flights between Montreal and China has risen dramatically and is expected to continue. Air China is currently offering departures from Beijing four times a week and Air Canada is offering daily flights from Shanghai. Chinese tourism will continue to grow around the world and the IHG Group has China Ready-certified establishments in over 20 countries under its InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn banners.
Yves Lalumière, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal, salutes the efforts of the InterContinental Montréal and hopes that other hospitality establishments will follow this initiative. “Indeed, these actions are closely linked with Tourisme Montréal’s strategy on the Chinese market. Adapting the tourist offer in Montréal will, without any doubt, promote the city as a go-to destination for Chinese visitors. More importantly, it ensures a wonderful welcome for this fast-growing market segment”, emphasizes Mr. Lalumière.
About Zhou Dao program “China Ready”
“Zhou Dao” integrates IHG’s Chinese name “Zhou”, with the Chinese philosophical concept, “Dao”. The term delicately, yet explicitly conveys the attentive, thorough and considerate courtesy that will be offered to Chinese travelers when they stay with IHG’s China Ready hotels abroad. Chinese-speaking staff at the front desk or via 24/7 phone support, acceptance of China UnionPay cards, a Chinese welcome pack, free Wi-Fi for IHG® Rewards Club members, a variety of Chinese food and beverage options and other amenities that meet the needs of Chinese guests will be available at hotels participating in the program. IHG has also invested heavily in equipping its worldwide hotel staff with Chinese etiquette, culture and hospitality training.