CHEVY CHASE, Md., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a year of comprehensive research to deepen the understanding of Chinese consumers, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has launched a new Chinese website http://www.ritzcarlton.com/cn and debuts today, a page on Sina Weibo http://e.weibo.com/ritzcarlton; the first Mandarin language social media channel for the luxury brand.
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.Two sets of research were conducted, each taking six months. The first study was an online pathways project to understand how affluent Chinese consumers felt about our digital presence, and that of our competitors. The second piece of research focused on website designs, content structure, website navigation, digital assets, photographs, page layouts and social conversation.