Posts tagged ‘chinese tourists’


High-tech sanitation: Race to the bottom | The Economist

JAPAN is often viewed with antipathy in China, but increasingly commerce is trumping contempt. During the lunar new-year holiday in February, Chinese tourists thronged to Japan in record numbers. Many came home lugging a high-end Japanese luxury: a heated toilet-seat complete with pulsating water jets, deodorisers and even music to drown out less melodious tinklings. In recent weeks the run on Japanese loos has been a topic of much debate among Chinese commentators, revealing deep insecurities.

Chinese visitors bought more high-tech lavatory seats than almost any other Japanese product during the week-long break, according to Hottolink, a Japanese consulting firm. Most popular was a new variety with hands-free lid opening, say staff at a branch in Tokyo of Bic Camera, a consumer electronics store where Chinese shoppers are so numerous that signs advertise wares in Chinese and assistants speak Mandarin. These cost around ¥65,000 ($540). Some bought several seats, including portable, battery-powered ones.

Relations between China and Japan have shown recent, tentative signs of warmth after a long chill. But only three years ago demonstrators in several Chinese cities called for a boycott of Japanese goods in protest against Japan’s stance in a still-festering dispute over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Some Japanese companies responded by minimising or hiding their branding on products sold in China.

via High-tech sanitation: Race to the bottom | The Economist.


Harrods Hopes Prince William Hoopla in China Will Bring a Boost – China Real Time Report – WSJ

For every five pounds spent by a Chinese tourist in the United Kingdom, just over one quid is spent at upscale department store Harrods.

No wonder, then, that company managing director Michael Ward is in Shanghai this week, hoping the hoopla around Britain’s Prince William’s four-day visit to China will bring even more Chinese shoppers through Harrods’ doors.

“It’s a hugely important part of our business,” Mr. Ward told China Real Time Tuesday. He said such tourists would become increasingly important as outbound tourism from China takes off.

Hong Kong brokerage firm CLSA expects the total number of Chinese outbound travelers to hit 200 million annually in 2020—that’s around double last year’s figures.

Mr. Ward declined to share specific figures for Chinese tourists, but he said by nationality, they top the league of store visitors in terms of spending.

By contrast, Americans barely scraped into the top ten—far behind shoppers from countries such as Nigeria and Thailand, he said.

While Chinese tourists may top the list of spenders at high-end Harrods, a report issued last year by British bank Barclays saBCS -2.61%id Chinese tourists ranked tenth in terms of tourist spending in the U.K, spending around £550 million in 2013 (around $850 million),. Barclay’s forecasted that by 2017, Chinese tourists would have moved up to fifth place with annual total spending in the U.K. in excess of £1 billion.

Still, the chilling effects of China’s current economic woes are being felt in faraway Harrods of London. “This year we’ve seen a much slower takeup,” said Mr. Ward.

via Harrods Hopes Prince William Hoopla in China Will Bring a Boost – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


Tourist Spots Across Asia Learn to Say ‘Nihao’ for Lunar New Year – China Real Time Report – WSJ

“Nihao, huzhao dai le ma?”

At a number of the Tokyo stores of Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo over the last week, the words coming out of cashiers’ lips are not Japanese, but Chinese.

The occasion was the Lunar New Year, a celebration in China that is supposed to be all about family and spending time at home. But increasingly, Chinese tourists have been flocking overseas – mostly to Asian destinations – to spend their yuan in a migration of an annual rite that has been dubbed China’s Golden Week.

Bolstered by a strong currency and greater wealth, more Chinese than ever before are traveling abroad for their not-so-Chinese New Year compared to those staying home, with South Korea, Thailand and Japan leading the top picks this year, according to the China National Tourism Administration.

In the case of Japan, staff at big shopping destinations like Uniqlo said they brought over Chinese-speaking staff to deal with Chinese tourists during the period. The question in Chinese that the cashier was asking China Real Time translates as: “Hello, do you have your passport?” Some Japanese stores offer tax-free shopping for tourists – lopping a generous 8% off the tab – if they can produce a foreign passport. Uniqlo didn’t immediately respond to a message for comment.

For this week at least, destinations like Japan have rolled out the welcome mat for visitors who raid foreign stores for everything from luxury handbags to sophisticated toiletry. Staff in even the most traditional of Japanese restaurants have learned to say “xiexie!” – Chinese for thank you.

Some 5.2 million Chinese are estimated to be spending 140 billion yuan ($22.4 billion) this year, up from 4.73 million last year, the Chinese tourism administration says. While nearly 40% went to the top three destinations, the balance of the mainlanders also made beelines for Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

via Tourist Spots Across Asia Learn to Say ‘Nihao’ for Lunar New Year – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


They’re Coming! Chinese Tourists Will Make 100 Million Trips Abroad This Year – Businessweek

In the first 11 months of this year, mainland Chinese tourists made more than 100 million international trips—already topping the travel total for 2013, according to new data from the China National Tourism Administration.

People hail the arrival of Asia's largest luxury cruise liner, Voyager of the Seas, in Tianjin, China, in 2012

Fifteen years ago, Chinese tourists made less than 10 million trips abroad. Since then, however, rising incomes have led to rapid growth in domestic and international travel.

Many of those trips—more than 60 percent—are within Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Almost 90 percent of destinations are within Asia.

China UnionPay—the country’s Visa (V) card—now offers several promotions hoping to encourage overseas tourists to spend more. Cardholders visiting Paris, Rome, and Sydney can get 15 percent off hotels, restaurants, and major tourist attractions. Those touring in Bali, Phuket, and the Maldives can get 10 percent off.

Meanwhile, national tourism authorities for Switzerland and Iceland recently put up booths at Beijing’s “Ski & Style” industry event in late November, hoping to lure more affluent Chinese skiers to European slopes.

via They’re Coming! Chinese Tourists Will Make 100 Million Trips Abroad This Year – Businessweek.


China’s Legions of Tourists Will Spend $155 Billion Abroad This Year – Businessweek

China is preparing for roadways clogged with cars and trains overloaded with travelers during its weeklong National Day holiday starting Oct. 1. But the real action for Chinese tourists will be happening overseas.

Chinese tourists in Paris

Over the full year, 116 million Chinese tourists are expected to travel abroad and spend $155 billion, up 20 percent over 2013, projects a new report by the China Tourism Academy. That compares with less than $55 billion that will be spent by tourists inside the country, a gap of more than $100 billion. “The deficit will further increase in the future,” predicts academy head Dai Bin, who was quoted in the China Daily.

China now sends more tourists abroad than any country in the world, according to China’s National Tourism Administration. Favored destinations include Australia, South Korea, and Southeast Asian countries as well as, increasingly, Europe and the U.S. Chinese tourists abroad will exceed half a billion annually within five years, says Shao Qiwei, administration chief of the English language paper.

In the first half of this year, Chinese spent $70 billion on overseas travel, up 20.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Chinese travelers abroad spend almost three times as much per capita as foreign tourists in China, says Fan Zhiyong, an economist at Renmin University in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Along with hotel lodging fees and restaurant meals, overseas spending includes plenty of purchases of such high-priced products as Rolex watches, Prada (1913:HK) shoes, and Chanel handbags. One-third of all Chinese travel expenditures goes to buy goods, often “luxury items—to take back home,” says McKinsey & Co. in a June report. Total spending could reach $194 billion by 2015, Morgan Stanley (MS) estimated last year.

via China’s Legions of Tourists Will Spend $155 Billion Abroad This Year – Businessweek.


Chinese tourists: Mind your manners | The Economist

IT’S HARD being a Chinese tourist. Reviled for bad behaviour one day and ripped off by everyone from taxi drivers to pickpockets the next, China’s newly minted travelling classes are having a tough year.

In typical fashion, the Chinese government appears intent on regulating away some of that pain. On October 1st China’s tourism industry came under a new set of rules, most intended to curb corruption in domestic travel and ease the burden on guides, groups and tourists travelling within the country. The law includes at least one clause that seems to have been inspired by a series of incidents that have revealed the apparently bad manners of Chinese tourists, on the mainland and overseas.

The number of Chinese travelling at leisure, both domestically and abroad, has grown tremendously in recent years, boosted by rising incomes, a less restrictive passport regime and softer limits on spending. The new tourism law aims to help the tourists themselves, mainly by preventing practices like the forced-march shopping excursions that are often led by ill-paid tour guides. The law also provides helpful advice to the many millions of mainland Chinese who do their pleasure-seeking abroad.

Section 13 advises Chinese tourists to behave themselves wherever they go in the world. The article is a nod to high-profile embarrassments like the one that a teenager caused by carving his mark—“Ding Jinhao was here”—into an ancient wall in the Egyptian ruins at Luxor earlier this year. Chinese tourists have drawn scorn after posting online snapshots of themselves hunting and devouring endangered sea clams in the Paracel islands, and others have produced fake marriage papers at resorts in the Maldives, in order to take advantage of free dinners. (Closer to home, the new law might have given pause to the group of Chinese tourists on Hainan island who inadvertently killed a stranded dolphin by using it as a prop in group portraits.) Spitting, shouting and sloppy bathroom etiquette have made the Chinese look like the world’s rudest new tourists, from London to Taipei and beyond.

A vice-premier, Wang Yang, made note of the problem a few months ago, calling on his countrymen to watch their manners when travelling abroad. The new regulations add legal force to his plea.

Tourists shall respect public order and social morality in tourism activities, respect the local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, take care of tourism resources, protect the ecological environment and respect the norms of civilised tourist behaviours,” as Section 13 instructs.

Although it might be difficult to regulate such sensitive matters by fiat, this kind of nudge can have an impact in China. These few headline-grabbing humiliations, along with an ongoing campaign that mainland visitors face in Hong Kong, have made many relatively seasoned Chinese travellers more careful about the way they comport themselves abroad. In Paris, ever a favourite destination for Chinese tourists and shoppers, polite French-speaking Chinese guides shepherd their flocks through the sites, apologising when any of their charges bumps into others.

via Chinese tourists: Mind your manners | The Economist.


China’s outbound tourists surpass 37 million

China Daily: “The number of outbound tourists leaving China reached 37.92 million in the first five months this year, up 17.3 percent compared with the same period in 2012, according to China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) statistics.

However, the number of overnight inbound tourists dropped, the administration said.

Inbound overnight visitors reached 22.93 million between January and May, down 4.06 percent over the same period last year.

Domestic travelers reached 998 million in the first quarter, up 14.1 percent, with domestic travel revenue standing at 765.7 billion yuan ($123.92 billion), up 18.4 percent, according to the administration.

In the second half of this year, China will further promote key markets and foster potential ones to develop its inbound traveling sector, said Zhu Shanzhong, deputy director of the CNTA.

China has the world’s largest domestic tourism market and outbound Chinese tourists are the biggest spenders worldwide.”

via China’s outbound tourists surpass 37 million |Society |


* UK to try and simplify visas for Chinese tourists

Hard on the heels of special visas for Indian business applicants, Britain is trying to do something for Chinese visitors.

FT: “Home Office ministers are to start talks with Chinese tour operators in the hope of setting up an easier visa application system for groups of high-spending Asian shoppers who are discouraged by the UK’s border bureaucracy.

Chinese tourists at cake shop with windows decorated during Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee

The department has been under pressure from luxury retailers to streamline the process for Chinese tourists, who can enter most of continental Europe with just one Schengen visa and are therefore less likely to apply for a separate UK entry. As a result, France receives at least 25 per cent more Chinese tourists each year than Britain does.

Mark Harper, immigration minister, said on Tuesday that he hoped to begin discussions soon. “It’s just thinking about, practically, what can we do with the tour operators to enable them to make that process for getting both [UK and Schengen] visas as straightforward as possible,” he told the Financial Times. “We may not be able to get it to be perfect, but we can get it to be a lot better than it is now, which then makes us a lot more competitive.”

However, Mr Harper suggested that a previous idea of negotiating “parallel” processes – so that data for Schengen and UK visas could be submitted in one joint application – was looking less likely. This was because “you start running into issues about government IT projects and complex issues about data protection”, he said.

Mr Harper also indicated such a joint application would be difficult to achieve diplomatically because it was “not obvious” that it would be in the interests of Britain’s European partners.”

via UK to try and simplify visas for Chinese tourists –


* Chinese tourists head overseas during holiday

As China gains in middle class affluence, its own tourists sites get completely jammed , especially as a China has three major long public holidays: Lunar New Year, Tomb Sweeping ceremony and October National celebrations. It is therefore not surprising that those who can afford it go abroad instead.

China Daily: “A large number of Chinese tourists flocked to Thailand, South Korea and Europe during China’s National Day holiday. It’s estimated that the number of tourists booking overseas trips rose by 50 percent from last year.

South Korea emerged as the most attractive destination for Chinese tourists keen to exploit this year’s longer-than-normal holiday, because of the stronger yuan and the ease of obtaining a visa and travel.

The Korea Tourism Organization said that 100,000 Chinese tourists visited the country during the holiday, a rise of 35 percent from last year. The tourist hotspot of Jeju Island alone hosted nearly 33,000 Chinese visitors between Sept 29 and Oct 3, a 59 percent increase over last year, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper.

Most first-time visitors tended to stay north of the Han River, where famous tourist sites such as the Mt Nam peak and the Gyeongbok Palace are located. However, regular visitors tend to spend their time in Gangnam, south of the river, shopping. Duty-free stores in the Gangnam area have seen sales rise, reflecting the increase in the number of Chinese tourists who regularly visit the country.

Medical tourism is also becoming more popular. Dermatologists in Gangnam are attracting more and more Chinese customers, who come on a regular basis for procedures such as skin whitening, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

During the holiday season, charter flights to Thailand, especially Bangkok and Phuket, were available from many second- and third-tier cities. Tourism industry insiders said Thailand is popular with Chinese tourists because of it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get to.

Meanwhile, long haul flights to France, Germany and Belgium were booked well in advance and tour agencies had sold all their seats to the Middle East and Africa by early September, making destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and Dubai the best reserve options.”

via Chinese tourists head overseas during holiday |Society |

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