We were in China, and it was wonderful – and exceptionally successful!
The tenth business anniversary of the Hotel Katarina with 60.000 overnight stays was also our most successful year – of course, we will do our best to again outdo ourselves in 2019 for the umpteenth time – but did you know that the biggest increase in interest we recorded was among our guests from China? The most populous country in the world is currently ranked second among the strongest emissive markets our guests come from, and after our visit to the biggest Chinese tour operators, it won’t surprise us if at the end of the year China suddenly appears at the very top of our internal top list.
Yes, we were in China, and it was wonderful!
Speed dating in Beijing
After a 13-hour flight, on March 24th, we landed in Beijing, and even our extremely overburdened assignment schedule could not stop us from falling thoroughly in love with Chinese culture, beautiful temples, spacious promenades and, of course, truly superb shopping. The reason for our Chinese adventure was our participation in the workshops “Experience Croatia, Feel Slovenia”, where we maximized the synergy of Croatian and Slovenian tourism, in the spirit of good neighbourly relations, for more successful joint step forward in this immensely huge market.
Our Chinese hosts were truly amazed by the first workshop in Beijing. Representatives from Chinese agencies sat at their tables, while we were moving from table to table just like on a speed date – eight minutes per table, 25 tables! Allow us to flatter ourselves a bit: we were perfectly prepared. We had our own interpreter and all of our promotional materials pre-translated into Chinese, which had proven to be a huge hit, just like a scented lavender bouquet and anti stress balls with our logo on them, that won the hearts of our hosts. To top it all, our contest that included questions such as “Where is the world’s best footballer from” or “Where was “Game of the Thrones” filmed”, allowed a few lucky ones, who gave the correct answers, to win a trip to Croatia.
We were surprised by the number of agencies that knew about us and were familiar with our work, even though we did not previously do business together. The key word here is “previously”, because in Beijing we created contacts that already generated new business cooperation. The Hotel Katarina is recognized as a premium hotel, ideal for a groups, but also for individual guests looking to explore our coast and Dalmatian inland, our hotel being an ideal starting point for all Dalmatian adventures.
Croatian wines, that our hosts fell in love with at the first sip, gave even extra strength to their enthusiasm for getting to know our beautiful places and sights, both cultural and historical, as well as gastronomic.
Shanghai is ours as well!
After Beijing, we landed in the most populous city of the most populous country. Insomnia could not bring us down, as much as the adrenaline kept us up, so we truly enjoyed each moment spent in Shanghai, where we felt like real celebrities, because for some reason people kept asking us to take a photo with them. We didn’t turn anyone down, and with a bit of help from Google Translate, even the language barriers couldn’t remain insuperable. Our five-star and 54-storey hotel in Shanghai shocked us at first, but soon after, it completely captivated us, just like our delighted workshop hosts, with whom we made the most out of our well-established 25×8 formula. During our joint lunch, we thoroughly practiced our networking skills, and we established valuable contacts with 25 of the largest tour operators who will already this season make sure our hotel becomes the centre of the Chinese tourist diaspora on the Adriatic.
Once we write this blog, we can finally turn off all the electronic devices and indulge in the consequences of our epic jet leg… But, nevertheless, it was worth it. Thanks, China!