THIRTY years after the Shenzhen-based OCT Group dived into the hotel business and 15 years since they built the country’s first themed hotels near resorts and parks, OCT hotels have unveiled two new brands of their own.
With years of experience accumulated from building hotels and co-running them with international brands, the heavyweight in real estate and tourism industries has finally become confident enough to woo guests with their own luxury brands.
All five-star hotels managed by OCT will be branded Raytour and all four-star hotels run by the group will be branded Gleetour, announced Wang Lin, general manager of the OCT International Hotel Management Group, on Oct. 28 at the Venice Raytour Hotel. The five-star property located at the company’s home base in Overseas Chinese Town in Nanshan District and previously known as the Crowne Plaza Shenzhen became the first Raytour hotel in May.
“Raytour, by which we mean a sparkling tour, will provide guests with quality services and inspired experiences while they try to explore the world,” Wang said. Gleetour, on the other hand, is meant for holidaymakers who seek happiness on the road.
Under the wings of OCT are also Spanish inspired InterContinental Shenzhen, the Swiss Interlaken hotel, Chinese JW Marriott in Qianhai, Southeastern Asian-style Seaview Gleetour as well as other themed hotels in other Chinese cities.
“The OCT Group is a major player in the cultural tourism industry, and all our hotels pay tribute to a unique culture,” the general manager said. “It’s a significant step forward to now have our own luxury brands.”
After running City Inn — an economy hotel brand — for many years, the company is planning to streamline its niche hotel, B&B and apartments brands in the future.
While everyone in the business is talking about crossing into other industries and expanding online, Wang thinks it’s most important to take action.
“In business, a hundred theories is not worth doing one thing right. The most important thing is to do the right thing at the right time. It takes time to make a hotel excel and build a brand.”
For a luxury brand, Wang said the aim is to make the guests resonate with the cultural themes and to give them unforgettable experiences. While for medium brands, balance and a high price-to-performance ratio are more important.
According to the 13th Five-Year Plan drawn up by the Chinese Government, the total economic output will be 104 trillion yuan (US$15.5 trillion) by 2020, of which cultural and tourism industries will account for about 15 percent, reaching 15 trillion yuan.
Faced with this big opportunity, Wang said the mission for his team will be “to create a unique and top-notch experience for hotel guests by experimenting with more possibilities to tap into tourism.”
Also on Oct. 28, hotel industry professionals in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao attended a seminar focusing on innovations in the industry.
Service staff participated in a skills competition in the afternoon, showcasing their expertise in bedmaking and cooking.(Debra Li)