U.S. hotels hoping to attract the growing number of Chinese travelers are investigating Chinese culture to learn what appeals to these travelers most. The staff at the New York Marriott Marquis are invested in knowing the lucky numbers, unlucky colors and which carafes to order for the coffeemakers to court some of Amway China's 1,500 guests who won incentive sales trips to New York City in April.
The Marquis had already assigned names (Royal, Pinnacle, etc.) to presidential suites on the 44th and 45th floors, because the number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture.
But now that many more Chinese citizens are heading to the United States on business and leisure trips, Marriott International hotels, as well as Starwood, Hilton and many other lodging brands, are working harder to boost brand recognition and make the hotel visit a more important part of the Chinese tourist's visit.
The target market is big – and getting bigger.
In 2013, an estimated 1.8 million Chinese tourists visited the United States. For 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Travel and Tourism Industries expects that number to rise by 21 percent, to more than 2.1 million, with increases of about 20 percent per year through 2018.