Chinese Women leading the way in Hotels

Chinese Women leading the way in Hotels

It seems that the subject of what women want when they are staying for either business or leisure at a hotel is under much scrutiny and discussion of late.

Last Sunday Camilla Long wrote in The Sunday Times about the women only room at the Dukes Hotel in London, named the Duchess Suite. She was actually quite disparaging about some of the finer points that the offering makes for women. This isn’t a new concept, hotels in Dubai and elsewhere in the middle east have a tradition of offering women only floors within their hotels. In Europe you might be surprised to find that there are women only hotels in Berlin, Andalucia and Zurich.

The creation of women only floors or hotels is controversial. Supporters say it gives women the security and re-assurance they want to feel comfortable when staying in unfamiliar places. Others claim it’s patronising or even illegal. In 2014 a Danish court ruled that the Bella Donna rooms in the Bella Sky Hotel could not refuse male guests.

But it’s in China where the needs of female leisure and business travellers are most likely to have significant impact upon the hotel sector and it’s offering. The travel industry is one of the emerging growth sectors in China, where double digit growth rates in other sectors are rapidly disappearing.

The drivers to this change are both cultural as well as financial. Overall it’s expected that over 120 million Chinese people will travel abroad this year, 16% up on last year. Amongst these Chinese travellers, women are becoming progressively stronger in all walks of life including the media.

As a group of consumers they are emerging as strong, sophisticated, confident and independent consumers, demanding special attention from brands. And with Chinese women becoming more affluent in their own right and exposed to foreign culture and lifestyles, they are better able to voice their developing tastes and requirements.

So with Chinese women making up a significant growth opportunity to hotels across the whole of the Asia Pacific region, hotel groups need to respond quickly to ensure their offering appeals to these increasingly mature and luxurious Chinese tastes, without demeaning them with pink room suites and patronising decor.

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