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Small business is big business

By Liu Weifeng | China Daily | Updated: 2014-01-04 07:40

Small business is big business

Sea turtle protection and release is one of the most popular activities among young guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya. Photos Provided to China Daily

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Large hospitalit yenterprises are looking at guests from a newangle - downward. Young children are now the focus, as Liu Weifeng reports.

Hotels are now targetting the youngest decision makers in the family, those with the best access to the purse strings. Such international chains as The Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La Group and Westin have all added new attractions specifically aimed at juvenile consumers. Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide are leading the pack by introducing kid-friendly programs with the launch of its Ritz Kids programming in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, a US-based nonprofit organization.

"We're very excited to continue our highly successfully relationship with a unique individual whose entire life has been dedicated to preservation of the environment, with particular attention to marine conservation and education," says Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.

Ritz Kids is a luxury experience tailored for young guests ages 4 to 12 with a diversified program which encourages children to explore the world around them with a heightened awareness of environmental conservation.

"As a flagship property in the Asia-Pacific region, we're piloting the Ritz Kids program, because we have the highest number of family guests staying with us," says Tarik Temucin, hotel manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya.

The ratio of families checking in the hotel is pretty high, hovering around 70 to 80 percent, and coming mostly from the Chinese mainland, especially Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shandong and Sichuan provinces.

Tarik himself is a father of two, and he sent his 6-year-old to the Ritz Kids club to test out the program.

"It serves more than just a playground with slides or swimming pool ... she came back with a list of queries about the ocean, sharks and other questions about the environment and nature," he says, relating his daughter's experience.

Running this children's program has definitely helped to increase the number of repeat guests and enhance their loyalty, according to Tarik.

The content of the Ritz Kids program was created by Ocean Futures Society exclusively for The Ritz-Carlton. The environmental expertise offered by the ocean-protection organization allows all the 84 Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide to craft fascinating experiences that are based on four key pillars - water, land, environmental responsibility and culture.

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