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Int'l hotels recruit Chinese staff

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-15 13:26

Int'l hotels recruit Chinese staff

[Photo/China Daily]

International hotel groups are seeking talented Chinese employees to work overseas now that China is emerging as a growing source of big-spending outbound tourists.

Chinese tourists made about 83 million international trips in 2012 versus 10 million in 2000, according to statistics released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

"(Our hotels in) the Middle East, in particular, have responded very well and actually are hiring a lot of Chinese, including receptionists and even butlers," says Michel Gehrig, Kempinski Hotels' vice-president for talent development, when he flew to Beijing from Geneva for the career day of European hotel group's China region in late March.

Their presence makes travelers "feel better because many Chinese who travel still do not speak English fluently", he says.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts are also endeavoring to cater to demands of outbound Chinese travelers.

"More and more people from our Chinese properties - especially now that the Middle East is quite strong - are moving to these regions to make sure that Chinese visitors who go there have some sense of home and belonging," says Ulf Pauschardt, general manager of Starwood's Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing.

Statistics from Starwood's representative office in Shanghai show that it now has at least 40 Chinese employees at overseas hotels in such places as Hawaii, the Maldives, Bangkok and Singapore.

The actual figure could be much higher because sometimes staff are hired in arrangements between hoteliers themselves.

"Between hotel and hotel, we would send task forces for two weeks, four weeks or even two or three months as there is demand across all regions for Chinese-speaking associates in many departments for shorter or longer terms," says Nick Porter, general manager of The Westin Beijing Chaoyang, also a Starwood hotel.

"I have sent chefs to Malaysia, and I have sent butlers to Bali. It could be seasonal. It could be during the Chinese New Year, when a lot of Chinese travelers are arriving at key destinations in the Maldives and Southeast Asia," Porter added.

Hong Kong's Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is also staffing its overseas hotels with Chinese employees to woo Chinese travelers.

Janet Zhang, public relations manager of Shangri-La China, says the company's European properties, including the one in Paris, are hiring Chinese chefs to cook Chinese food because "some Chinese travelers are not adapted to eating bread and butter".

Int'l hotels recruit Chinese staff

Int'l hotels recruit Chinese staff

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