Today, Preferred Hotels & Resorts – the world’s largest independent hotel brand – entered into a global partnership with UnionPay International – the most widely used and influential bank cardpayment network – as part of its continuous campaign to court the booming Chinese outbound market by making it easier for travelers to consume the independent hotel experience. Effective through 2019, the agreement is designed to benefit both the hundreds of hotels and resorts within the brand’s global portfolio and the millions of UnionPay cardholders worldwide through a variety of components including advertising campaigns and special cardholder promotions.
Understanding that more and more Chinese travelers are making their travel purchasing decisions based solely on where they can use their UnionPay card, Preferred Hotels & Resorts spent six months coordinating efforts to ensure its member hotels were equipped to accept the market’s preferred method of payment. As part of the agreement, UnionPay International will provide Preferred Hotels & Resorts with valuable exposure through promotional campaigns such as banner advertising on UnionPayIntl.com and statement inserts at affiliate banks across China, which will rotate on a quarterly basis and educate cardholders on the unique experiences available at properties within the brand’s portfolio.
To kick off the partnership, Preferred Hotels & Resorts has launched its participation in UnionPay International’s ongoing “Enjoy the World Your Way” consumer promotion, extending cardholders a special discount of up to 15 percent on the Best Available Rate at 125 participating properties located across several of the top 50 most popular international destinations for Chinese travelers, from Lake Como, Italy, to Los Angeles, California. The offer is available exclusively to cardholders making reservations for stays now through December 31, 2016 via a dedicated microsite, unionpay.preferredhotels.cn/en. Terms and conditions apply.
The engagement with UnionPay International is the latest development in a series of initiatives that Preferred Hotels & Resorts has launched to showcase its steadfast commitment to both grow its presence in China and court the market’s lucrative outbound travel business. Among other brand efforts introduced in the past two years are a brand website in simplified Chinese (www.preferredhotels.cn), dynamic social media campaigns on Sina Weibo and WeChat, a partnership with Air China, and booking connectivity with key OTAs and China’s Global Distribution Service (GDS). So far in 2016, the company has also hired new associates based across Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou to handle public relations, social media, travel trade relations, and sales responsibilities, and signed three new member hotels in China – Longemont Shanghai, Longemont Hotel Chengdu, and Wanda Reign Chengdu Hotel.