Group goes for big business bucks with fifth brand Wanda Moments
Wanda Hotels and Resorts launched its mid-class brand for business travelers - Wanda Moments - in Qingdao, Shandong province last Friday, as part of wider efforts to explore different niche markets by the multilevel hotel group.
Until the announcement Wanda Hotels and Resorts had a total of four hotel brands: the ultra-luxury hotel brand Wanda Reign, luxury hotel brand Wanda Vista, premium hotel brand Wanda Realm and select-service hotel brand Wanda Jin.
The establishment of Wanda Moments is based on significant demand at the medium-end of the hotel market and the requirements of third and fourth-tier cities, according to Wanda.
Wanda said the new brand followed in the wake of the four-star Wanda Jin, five-star Wanda Realm, super five-star Wanda Vista and top luxury hotel brand Wanda Reign, and was devoted to providing unique and different experiences for business travelers.
Ning Qifeng, executive president of Wanda Cultural Tourism Creativity and president of Wanda Hotels and Resorts, said that Wanda Moments had some obvious advantages, such as the established reputation of the Wanda brand, which covered the food, beverage and entertainment sectors.
"Wanda itself is one of the largest commercial property owners in China and has experience of managing 113 high-class hotels, which will serve the Wanda Moments property owners - ensuring the best cost-effective solutions and best returns on investment," Ning said.
In addition, the Wanda Hotel Design Institute enables the group to continue to upgrade its products to make sure that they are closer to market needs, he added.
At the launch ceremony, a total of six partners signed agreements with Wanda group to build the first Wanda Moments hotels in Nanning in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Tianjin, Baiyin in northwestern Gansu province and in other cities.
Over the next five years, Wanda Moments aims to expand to 700 hotels nationwide.
The company said the establishment of Wanda Moments was also an important step in Wanda's asset-light strategic transformation.
Last year, Wanda group sold the facilities of 73 hotels for 18.96 billion yuan ($2.75 billion), retaining management of the hotels.
Since then, Wanda has focused on hotel brand management which it has made efforts to improve with its asset-light model, while also working on product design and research and development, as well as maintaining the loyalty of frequent travelers.
"Our asset-light transformation not only refers to the output of the hotel management and design, but also the output of integrated hotel management services," said Liu Yingwu, vice-president of Wanda Hotels and Resorts and head of the Wanda Hotel Design Institute.
"This is an innovative service mode based on our investments and construction experience of more than 100 hotels, which will help the hotel owners with a mature and complete management system," Liu said.
According to Chen Mengchao, vice-president of Wanda Hotels and Resorts, Wanda Moments will create a new lifestyle combining art, culture and intelligence and take its four "S's" - sweet, social, style and smart - as core value concepts for customers.
Guests will enjoy artistic products and facilities, comprehensive services and comfortable interactive experiences at Wanda Moments, Chen said.
Yang Yinglin, deputy general manager of marketing and sales, said that the development of Wanda Hotels and Resorts could not be separated from the support of its customers.
To give back to loyal customers, the group said it released an upgraded customer loyalty plan for its Wanda Club last Friday.
According to Yang, points are now extended from traditional accommodation to banquets, restaurants and other Wanda service areas.
In the past, bonus points could only be exchanged for rooms or room upgrades, but now they can be used for catering products, air flight mileage and movie tickets to Wanda cinemas nationwide.
Established in 1996, Wanda Hotels and Resorts has focused on hotel design, construction and management, involving different brands. It is one of the groups in the world that has developed entire chains in the hotel sector.
By 2020, Wanda Hotels and Resorts plans to manage more than 100 hotels in more than 80 cities in China.