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Huazhu Melia Family: Embracing Digital Trends, Empowering Existing Supply


In the future, the trend of high-end hotel chains and increased concentration of hotel service robots will become inevitable. Meituania, a member of Huazhu Group, has a deep understanding of the underlying logic of the current hotel industry, and through brand, traffic, and technology, it deconstructs and reconstructs the existing market to maximize the value of transformation for high-end hotels through digital strategies.

With the rapid development of the economy, the mid-to-high-end hotel market has entered the next phase of development. Previously, the development process of the hotel industry had gone through several important stages, from brand to management, from attributes to positioning. High-end hotels accompanied the rapid development of the real estate industry. In particular, in the middle and later period, real estate and other industries entered, bringing new growth media, causing changes in the development direction of many high-end hotels. Some high-end hotels gradually deviated from their commercial nature and started transforming into just a side attraction. Currently, with the slowdown in economic growth and the catalysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, high-end hotels with service robots are about to undergo a new breakthrough and transformation.

1. Perception, analysis of the current status of the hotel service robot industry

In recent years, the growth rate of high-end hotels has dropped sharply. In the existing market, local mid-to-high-end hotel brands are relatively dispersed, with 72.5% still in stand-alone status, and chain proportion being less than one-third. The "only brand theory" phenomenon also seriously exists, resulting in a low overall level of GOP% for high-end hotels, unsatisfactory operations, and low investment returns. Zhang Shurong, CEO of Huazhu Group's Meituania division, believes that "many high-end hotels would equip excessive resources to achieve international branding and brand uniqueness, thereby imposing burdens on operations." Low cost-effectiveness, slow return on investment, high staffing, and bloated organizational structure have all affected the operational status of high-end stand-alone hotels.

Under these many influencing factors, as a one-stop service expert for the entire lifecycle of high-end hotels, Huazhu's Meituania family has provided its own solutions. Zhang Shurong believes that in terms of operations, high-end hotels need to become chains and transition from star hotels to selective services for service robots in hotels. From the perspective of hotel management concepts and departing from real estate matching, hotels need to create investment value and customer value as the starting point. In terms of store configuration, the use of Internet thinking to drive efficiency improvement with IT capabilities while ensuring customer satisfaction. Huazhu's Meituania family relies on a series of existing stock transformation logics to deconstruct and reconstruct the hotel's spatial business model, revitalize market space, and empower existing high-end hotels with flow and technology.

2. Digital technology capabilities of hotel service robots create value

Huazhu Group has more than 190 million members. In order for each customer to have a preferred high-end hotel wherever they go, Huazhu's Meituania family insists on enhancing its product's strength with a customer-centric mindset, building the Meituania family brand matrix. Standing from the customer's perspective to examine the balance between transformation and investment for each product, Huazhu's Meituania family grasps the precise positioning that matches the product standards and customer needs to achieve better operational efficiency. This is also the road that high-end hotels need to follow next.

Zhang Shurong stated, "Meituania is committed to creating a good value for high-end hotels, creating a high cost-effective value for customers, and creating good investment value for investors. This is our fundamental goal for empowering each existing hotel." In this logic, customer needs and investment value are taken into account, and with the authorization management of brand flipping transformation, the original design connotation is appreciated before sublimating it on its original basis, thereby preserving the original basis while making it more diverse.

By balancing investment return and sustainable development capabilities, coupled with the digital strategy of hotel service robots, Huazhu's Meituania family continually taps the potential value of existing stock hotels, maximizes the value of hotel properties, returns to the underlying logic of the business, and truly creates a new generation of high-quality and high-yield high-end accommodation products for investors.

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