Rich Chinese tourists helped London’s luxury Ritz hotel achieve record revenues last year.
The number of guests from China rose by 17% in 2011 and the amount they spent during their stay increased by 25%.
The hotel is expecting another double-digit rise in the number of Chinese guests this year.
The Ritz reported a 3% increase in turnover for the 12 months to December 31 to £32.3 million.
Pre-tax profit slipped to £6 million from £6.7 million after £1.8 million was spent on renovating the stone arcade in front of the hotel on Piccadilly. Granite was sourced from the same quarry used in 1906 to construct the original arcade, according to hotel managing director Stephen Boxall.
The hotel has been targeting more Chinese tourists through the introduction of China UnionPay credit cards.
The Ritz - owned by Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, proprietors of the Telegraph Media Group, parent company of the Daily Telegraph - was the first UK hotel to allow guests to pay by China UnionPay credit card.
“It’s the biggest credit card company in China,” Boxall told the newspaper.
He said Chinese visitors were staying in London for longer and were staying in the hotel’s more expensive rooms and suites.
A Mandarin-speaking sales and marketing manager has been employed to help attract visitors from the region. Chinese guests are greeted by a Mandarin-speaking receptionist and menus are available in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
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