7月14日，文旅部印发通知恢复跨省团队旅游，旅游产业随着疫情防控常态化逐步恢复。在旅游业不断复苏的大背景下，Hello Jiangsu《环球视野看江苏Top Talk》策划系列专访，采访多位在苏酒店高管，聚焦在后疫情时代，业内人士对江苏旅游产业复苏的看法，讲诉在疫情冲击下，酒店行业如何应对挑战，进一步坚定在江苏扎根、深耕的信心。
Jinling Hotel in Nanjing City is definitely one of the collective memories of all the Nanjingers. Established in 1983, the hotel once owned the tallest building in China. Jinling meat bun, one of the most famous food of the hotel, has been "the king of meat buns" in the city for generations.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses serious challenges in the entire hotel industry. How does Jinling Hotel face the challenges? What is the hotel’s plan in domestic and international market in the post-pandemic era? Hello Jiangsu’s special series Top Talk invites Zhou Lei, Deputy Director of Jinling Hotel to talk about the challenges and opportunities in the past several months.
Zhou Lei has been working at Jinling Hotel for 26 years and has been Deputy General Manager for three years. Zhou Lei said to us that the first half of 2020 was an extremely difficult period for the hotel industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We have done a lot of efforts to save ourselves during this period, among which we have to mention the 'Spring Rain Campaign' launched by all the Jinling people," she said.
On February 17, 2020, Jinling Hotel received an urgent task of preparing 10,000 Jinling meat buns and 3000 salted ducks in 36 hours to support Jiangsu’s medical teams in Huangshi City of Hubei Province. Zhou Lei said: "We have overcome many difficulties such as shortage of raw materials, limited time, heavy tasks, and limited manpower. Anyway, we successfully completed the task and make sure that the doctors and nurses from Jiangsu could have the taste of their hometown in Hubei."
Jinling Hotel soon launched the "Spring Rain Campaign", making Jinling meat buns the major product of the campaign. The hotel has tried every possible means to increase the production capacity of Jinling meat buns from 3,000 per day to 70,000 per day.
"In just one month, we have sold 1 million Jinling meat buns," said Zhou Lei with pride. "We can’t make it happen without the hardships, perseverance, and reliability of all the Jinling People."
"Amid the challenges, lie the opportunities. We found that the biggest breaking point this year is online retailing," Zhou Lei said that. In addition to increasing production capacity, the hotel also builds the online platform of selling the meat buns. The customers can buy the buns online and then choose to get the products at the hotel or by home delivery. Meanwhile, they provide booking service online to balance sales and supply.
Through the "Spring Rain Campaign", the online retailing channel of Jinling Hotel has been fully recognized by customers, which directly promoted the online sale of holiday gifts such as gift boxes of Dragon Boat Festival. Zhou Lei said: "Online channels have broken the physical barriers of the hotel, and it has huge potential. How to focus on quality in the stock market? How to create new breaking point and increase innovation in the incremental market? These are the questions that all hotel people must think about."
China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism released a notice on July 14, saying that the trans-provincial tours can be resumed. This has strengthened the confidence of all hotel business that is closely related to tourism. "The summer market has always been a very important market for us." Zhou Lei said. According to Zhou, they have felt the entire industry continues to recover based on the business performance in June and July.
"Based on the business performance in June, we won the first place in a competition held for the hotel industry by Nanjing Government," Zhou Lei said. She said that they won the title of "The Most Popular Star Hotel Among Tourists" in this competition, which also reflects the continuous vitality of the market.
According to Zhou, they have more confidence in the summer market based on the business performance in July. "The occupancy of the hotel has reached more than 70% in July, and we have got 1000 rooms," said Zhou. "And we have designed many programs, products and services for the children and families. We really have the confidence to do the business in August."
"Jinling food now becomes a name card of Nanjing to the world. We have also done a lot of things to promote exchanges between Nanjing and the rest of the world," said Zhou Lei. In 2018, Giuseppe Aversa, a famous Michelin chef in Sorrento, Italy, led a team to Nanjing to host a grand Michelin dinner at the invitation of Nino, chef of the Pacific Restaurant at Jinling Hotel.
In March 2019, at the invitation of the Sorrento Michelin Alliance in Italy, Jinling Hotel led a team to Sorrento to promote Jinling food and culture. It had started a sensation of Jinling food in the city. More than 20 famous Italian Michelin chefs and nearly 50 local dignitaries came to Il Buco Restaurant, where the Jinling Hotel team stayed, and expressed their sincere admiration for Jinling food.
The exchange of food has successfully promoted the sister relations between cities. In November 28, 2019, the Cooperation Conference between Gulou District and Sorrento was held in Nanjing. Gulou District and Sorrento City signed an agreement of intent to establish sister relations between the two sides. Meanwhile, Jinling Hotel and Il Buco also signed an agreement of cooperation.
2020 marks the 37th anniversary of the establishment of the Jinling Hotel. The number 37 bears special meaning to Jinling Hotel because the first building of the hotel has exactly 37 floors. "We call it 37th anniversary in the 37-floor building. 2020 is also a particularly meaningful year for all the Jinling People. We will plan a series of activities to discover several generations’ stories with Jinling Hotel."
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhou Lei is still confident about the future development of Jinling Hotel. "We are very confident that we can reach the goal of 300 Jinling hotels in China within three years." Zhou adds that they will strive to manage 2 or 3 hotels in other countries by the end of 2023, and realize the strategic upgrading from a regional brand to a national, or even an international brand.
"Amid the challenges, lie the opportunities. We will find new opportunities and focus on innovation and quality to make sure the brand will be developed as successful as before," said Zhou.