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Big changes within hospitality industry
By Ruby Gao

Foreign travelers and expatriates have contributed immensely to the development of Shanghai’s hospitality industry. This extends from serviced apartments to five-star hotels and restaurants serving great food and beverages.

The iDEAL Shanghai Awards are about celebrating these contributions. The third annual edition of the awards have been handed out with 52 winners in 29 categories being announced at a ceremony last Friday at the Langham Xintiandi Shanghai. Around 180 guests, including senior officials, foreign consuls, hoteliers and opinion leaders in the hospitality industry attended.

Award categories this year included serviced apartments, villas, overseas property, hotels and resorts. They covered 10 cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xiamen, Harbin, Qingdao and Sanya. Winners were selected by around 50,000 Shanghai Daily readers on www.idealshanghai.com.

The property market targeting expatriates has changed significantly since 2010, says Frank Liu, marketing manager at The Emerald, one of the city’s first expat communities that was established in 2000.


“Before 2010, most of our properties were rented to expats, who are generally the executives of Fortune 500 companies. Now, half of our properties are rented while half are sold to cross-country families and oversea Chineses,” Liu says.

He adds that the background of the expats living in The Emerald has also changed. The community was once dominated by Americans, but is now more like a global village, he says.

The hotel market is increasingly segmented.

There are hotels attracting business travelers, MICE hotels targeting corporate guests, family friendly resorts and even properties that specialize in hosting wedding ceremonies.

These international hotel chains set high standards and train local hoteliers in the art of pleasing an international clientele. Many of the locals go on to become the general manager of a five-star hotel in second and third-tier cities around the country or become the backbone force of local hospitality brands such as Jinjiang and Wanda.

“We know more about meeting local guests’ requirements, yet our service meets international standards,” says Stephen Li, who formerly worked for international hotel chains in Shanghai and is now the hotel manager at Wanda Reign Wuhan.

Natural and healthy food is a big trend in the food and beverage market, according to Gao Xiang, president of Forest of Eden, a company producing blueberry juice.

“Natural and healthy products are based on quality ingredients. Food and beverage producers compete for sourcing the best ingredients, which makes the high-end market competitive,” Gao says.

Gao’s company is dedicated to sourcing quality wild blueberries from northeastern China, which allows the company to produce rich and concentrated fruit juices.

Hand crafted products, increasingly expensive due to the amount of labor involved, are also a big trend. For example, Reberg beer, a locally produced craft beer is popular at five-star hotels.

Furthermore, more food and beverage brands are dedicating themselves to promoting a certain lifestyle.

According to Alfonso Troisi, country manager of Nespresso China, providing information about the origin of their beans and tasting notes helps enhance the customers’ coffee experience.

Guests share final thoughts about awards ceremony

Wang Wei

Vice President of Shanghai United Media Group

“The event looks fashionable, graceful and also has a great influence on the paper’s foreign readers. We are looking forward to more brand events like the iDEAL Awards. Actually, iDEALShanghai is a good platform for foreigners to get to know Shanghai and enjoy a better life in Shanghai.”


Cao Hui

Chairman of Shanghai Reberg Brewing Co Ltd.

“It’s a great honor for me to attend the awards ceremony. I’ve brought our fresh Reberg beer here to make our foreign friends know that there is also great hand crafted beer in Shanghai. Reberg beer is dedicated to making locally crafted beer without preservatives or additives of any kind. Different from the bottled beer on the market, Reberg beer uses stainless steel bottles which are ideal for preserving beer. In addition, we try to add some flavor to make the beer varied, such as the peach flavor and peony flavor. We hope people can enjoy our crafted beers.”


Byron Kan

General Manager of Shanghai Centre

“Definitely the best advantage we have is an incredible retail mix. Our saying is life at your doorstep, we mean that because you don’t have to leave Shanghai Centre, you can go there to do your shopping, you can have your dinner there, if you are sick you can go to the doctor, you want to exercise you go the gym there, you don’t need to leave Shanghai Centre and that’s one of our advantages. The other one of course is our location, right in the middle of Nanjing Road.


Alfonso Troisi

Country Manager of Nespresso China

“It’s nice to see a lot of hotels and hotel teams rewarded for their hard work. And the show is very original, I like the dance and also the music. Good event, good show, good newspaper, and good website!”


Peter Clarke

General Manager of Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai

“I appreciate the fact that we’ve been given this award and the honor of best business hotel. In TripAdvisor there are 3,990 hotels approximately in the city, so to be picked is a big honor. Shanghai Daily is a paper that we read every day, from cover to cover.


Guergana Guermanoff

Consul General of New Zealand Consulate-General in Shanghai

“I like walking the streets in Xuhui and the former French concession, a lot of history there, a lot of old buildings, it has a very different feel. Shanghai is a beautiful city to walk around and I like walking. I like a lot of things about Shanghai, the variety, the food is fantastic, whether it’s the restaurant or the market. I’m in love with Shanghai. I can understand when people come here and they don’t want to travel, there’s so much to see and do.


Nicolai Prytz

Consul General of Royal Danish Consulate General in Shanghai

“I’ve been living in Shanghai for 18 months. I am very excited about the city of Shanghai. It’s a very exciting place to be. It has a lot of different culture. It is a really lively city. You can really feel the pulse when you are here. The Danish companies are extremely interested in China, particularly in Shanghai. They want to be part of it. Shanghai Daily is a very informative paper. It’s a very good and important source of information for foreigners. The iDEAL awards are serious awards given out by a serious paper, and it’s great to be present. It’s also very interesting for us to be at the ceremony.



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