Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
China Daily / 2021-05 / 08 / Page005

Cinema hotels attract increasing audiences

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2021-05-08 00:00

Post-pandemic landscape gives opportunities for diversification

"It felt great to watch a movie in bed. There were plenty of movies to choose from and there was also complimentary coffee-all in all, a more enjoyable experience than a traditional hotel."

So goes a customer review posted on travel booking site about a cinema-themed hotel in Beijing.

Cinema-themed hotels, a new type of accommodation service that attempts to deliver cinema thrills through technology and movie-inspired decor and service, have become the ninth-biggest hotel segment in China. It holds a market share of 4.27 percent, according to commercial property information provider Meadin.

"The booming movie market has undoubtedly created new opportunities for the hotel industry," said Gao Manxia, a researcher with Meadin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reshuffle in the hospitality industry and sparked drastic shifts in lifestyle and purchasing habits, such as a greater need for privacy and safety, Gao said. In this context, cinema hotels have formed a business cycle of "offering a cinema experience, encouraging additional spending, leaving an impression on the guest and triggering repeat purchases", Gao noted.

"Hotel guests are no longer satisfied with killing time with a TV set," an executive with Rest Hotel of Shanghai-headquartered Yibon Hotels Group was quoted by Meadin. "This is evidenced by the fact that only less than 5 percent of guests would turn on the TV in their rooms."

He said a mid-to high-end audiovisual experience will be what hotel guests will look for in the future.

Chinese cinema hotel Movietel, for example, attempts to transport its guests to a movie world, where the guests are treated as the protagonists, the front desk staff assume the role of agent and the general manager the director, according to a Meadin report.

Traditional hotels have also been reinventing themselves to catch up. Rest Hotel, for instance, has turned 20 percent of its rooms into "VIP cinema rooms", according to Meadin.

"Cinema hotels are mainly situated in busy urban locations and target young consumers, with repeat business being an important source of profit," said Gao with Meadin. "Data show that rooms in cinema hotels usually cost 10-20 percent more than regular rooms in comparable hotels in the same region by virtue of their fine decor and innovative layout."

Rest Hotel, which has introduced in-room smart cinema screens, charges up to 340 yuan ($53) for its cinema rooms. This is 18.9 percent higher than its regular rooms, Meadin reported.

Wu Yuechun, CEO of Yibon Hotels Group, told Meadin: "A cinema hotel not only brings cinema to guests' bedside. To hotel operators, it is also a way to boost consumer spending on things like drinks, snacks and movie-related merchandise, and to create a better experience and positive word-of-mouth."

Figures from Movietel show that earnings from selling movie-related merchandise account for 15 percent of its revenue, and counting, Meadin reported.

The concept of cinema hotels also gives a new lease of life to the dark rooms in hotels, which are often offered at a discount. Some of the dark room-turned-cinema rooms can be sold at a premium instead of at a discount, according to Meadin.

Gao suggested that cinema hotels be more innovative in responding to customers' evolving needs. They could, for example, set up a gaming zone, a reading space or a shopping area so as to make guests spend more time in the hotel and build a stronger bond with them.

Cinema hotels could also seek more collaboration with the movie industry by, for example, getting involved in movie promotions and organizing movie-themed social events, Gao added.



A movie-themed hotel in Shanghai holds a forum on the film industry in July 2020, attracting a group of visitors. CHEN YUYU/FOR CHINA DAILY



Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349