Over 10 million Chinese tourists visit Thailand each year. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) polled many of them for the 2017 People’s Choice Awards and Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World was voted “Best City Hotel.” The poll, just completed in June, is evidence of Chinese visitors’ growing importance to Thailand, and Centara’s success in meeting their needs.
Centara Hotels and Resorts, Thailand’s largest hotel operator, is making a concerted effort to appeal to Chinese guests. Their 66 deluxe and first-class properties includes 43 Thailand hotels across all major tourist destinations and another 23 located in prominent international destinations. The award-winner, Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, is one of the group’s premier properties, located in the heart of Bangkok’s central shopping district and integrated with a popular convention and shopping complex.
Centara also operates properties in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Oman. The group offers diverse formats — integrating multi-ethnic restaurants, Thai spas, Kids’ Clubs, water parks, and other innovative features – that appeal to couples, individuals, families, and business professionals. Thailand’s famous hospitality culture is also a key ingredient of the brand’s recipe for success.
Most Centara hotels and resorts have Chinese-speaking staff and serve Chinese meals including breakfast. Centara offers Chinese information about its hotels and destinations, promotions, and online booking on its official website, which is now hosted in China for optimum speed.The group also accepts the popular Chinese payment channel UnionPay, in addition to major credit cards, and is active on China’s leading social media applications, Wiebo and WeChat.
The Centara management team led by Tom Thrussell, vice president of marketing, Paul Wilson, vice president of sales and Harry Thaliwal, group director of operations, recently completed a roadshow that included five major Chinese cities and Hong Kong. The tour raised awareness of the Centara brand and shared news of the group’s expansion plans into China and the Middle East with members of China’s travel industry and key trade and consumer media.
“China now represents our most significant inbound market and the numbers will continue to rise”, said Tom Thrussell. “We are committed to developing a deep understanding of Chinese guests’ needs and by visiting key Chinese cities and partners, engaging with our guests and soliciting feedback, we are able to communicate more effectively, better meet their travel needs and ultimately equipped ourselves to manage successful properties in China itself.”