The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) runs more than 250 hotels in China, including 3 in Yunnan Province - InterContinental Lijiang, InterContinental Kunming and the boutique hotel Indigo Lijiang. Since Yunnan is endowed with outstanding golf facilities apart from abundance of unique lifestyle experiences, IHG wanted to develop the highly lucrative golf segment, targeting both domestic and international golf travelers.
However, the staff lacked insights about the golf tourism segment and had no understading of golfers' profiles, habits or preferences. In addition, the negative “golf” policy of central government implied no public funding to support promotional activities.
By leveraging its first-hand insights about golf travelers in international markets and its travel trade expertise, GTC custom-built an Integrated Marketing Strategy for three IHG properties in Yunnan, which included:
Apart from overall increase in awareness about golf tourism, a key achievement has been the creation of a golf environment across all three IHG properties in Yunnan - driven by the General Manager and the managers of the respective departments. A holistic “Golf Ready” program has been successfully implemented for capacity building among the front end staff, revenue management, marketing & communication department. Along the same lines, critical logistic processes have been redefined.
Select golf tour operators in defined international markets were enabled to promote and sell compelling golf and lifestyle bundled products. Coverage and exposure of the golf destination in general and the specific IHG hotels in particular could be secured in leading golf magazines as well as in promotional material - online & print - of the international and domestic golf travel trade.
I have worked with Evelyn in the past on Hainan Island where she successfully trained my sales and marketing staff on international golf travel. On behalf of everybody, I want to thank her once again for her presentation, workshop and input. Her assistance to position ourselves more securely and professionally in the various golf markets is invaluable. We are looking forward to a great forthcoming year! Thanks again.