These major digital channel launches underline the commitment of The Ritz-Carlton to one of its largest growing markets, and a continued focus on the digital space. In the quest to further engage current and aspiring customers in China, The Ritz-Carlton will launch a Chinese mobile site by year-end, and there are plans to double the inventory of Ritz-Carlton hotels in China from eight to 16, within the next three years.
Social media has emerged as a powerful communications tool in China, and Sina Weibo as a leading micro-blogging website; one of the most popular sites in China. Over 30% of Internet users subscribe to the social media channel which was launched in August 2009, and currently has more than 500 million registered users posting 100 million messages each day. Sina Weibo allows The Ritz-Carlton to effectively customize content in-language, to be regionally and culturally relevant, and to showcase, educate and discuss luxury travel and the global world of Ritz-Carlton in the 80 destinations in which they have a presence.
Chinese tourists now represent a rapidly expanding demographic. A population that now has the funds and the freedom to explore the world on their own. Chinese consumers have changed tastes and habits and the world of luxury has become more of a lifestyle than a one-off occasion. The next wave of luxury consumption in China shows a migration towards heritage and underlying quality; both of which The Ritz-Carlton is renowned for.