ACCOR has revamped its Grand Mercure brand in China, offering products and services tailored for local clientele, in a move aimed at taking advantage of the booming upscale domestic travel market.
“Our clients are now expecting brands capable of understanding the diversity and the complexity of their identity,” said Grégoire Champetier, chief marketing officer of Accor.
“With Grand Mercure, the group demonstrates its ability to have more flexible brands, that are locally relevant.”
The re-engineered branding for Grand Mercure, referred to in Mandarin as Mei Jue, was unveiled at the inauguration of Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya, the first hotel adapted to the new positioning.
The group’s nine other similarly branded properties in China are due to adopt the new identity, which will see the practicing of ceremonies exemplifying elements of Chinese culture.
In Shanghai, for example, employees will be conversant in the local Shanghainese language, and guests will be welcomed by staff wearing Qipao, a traditional evening dress.
All local staff will be identified with name badges bearing firstly Chinese characters, followed by a pinyin translation enabling them to use their given names rather than adopting foreign equivalents.
Other signature services include daily Tai chi lessons, lavender-scented bathroom amenities, and complimentary head and shoulder massages for guests staying on premium floors.
Since launching this evolved version of the brand, Accor has confirmed commitments for ten more Grand Mercures in China.
Sam Shih, chairman and COO, Accor Greater China, said: “The Grand Mercure brand provides Accor with a fresh platform for organic upscale expansion throughout the country.”