When I was walking back to the St. Regis in Chengdu the other night, I saw this one hotel whose name really resembles one western chain (especially when pronounced).
Seems that there are quite a few Haiyatt hotels in China, and the New York Times ran an article three years ago about Chinese hotels that have name resembling (magically) a western counterpart.
Seems that the price point of these Haiyatt hotels is roughly that of Hyatt Place.
Here’s an excerpt what New York Times wrote (access the piece here):
Western brands are often seen as higher in quality than their Chinese counterparts, said Kunal Sinha, chief knowledge officer for Ogilvy China, so giving a product, whether it is a shampoo or a hotel, a name similar to a Western brand is valuable.
Farley Kern, vice president for corporate communications for Hyatt, said the company took “this matter very seriously,” and was working within China’s legal channels to address hotel operators that use names that might cause confusion. Still, foreign companies can be reluctant to push too hard because they do not want to antagonize the government and lose access to the Chinese market.
Seems that Hyatt has not been very successful with their quest of working with the Chinese to get these Haiyatt’s to change their names. Perhaps throwing some cash around would solve the issue?
I have not come across any other “fake” hotels brand in China beyond this Haiyatt. Wonder if they have a guest loyalty program called World of Haiyatt?