Tag Archives: commerce

Mainland Shoppers Set To Flock To HK For Golden Week

1.8 Million Tourists And Shoppers Made The Trip Last Year; Will This Year See Similar Figures?

Photo Courtesy Hong Kong Tourism Board

Photo Courtesy Hong Kong Tourism Board

Hong Kong retailers, hoteliers and merchants of all shapes and sizes are getting ready for the second of two “Golden Weeks” which take place annually in China — the first celebrating Chinese New Year and the second beginning on National Day (Oct. 1) and continuing through the Mid-Autumn Festival (Oct. 3) until finally ending on the 8th. For Hong Kong’s luxury retailers, Golden Week has traditionally provided a much-needed boost to their sales, particularly as fall begins and the flow of foreign tourists slows down significantly.

For many mainlanders, however, Golden Week is a chance to hop over the border and do some serious shopping. As Hong Kong retailers aren’t saddled with the same high sales and luxury taxes as those in the mainland, shoppers from throughout China often take advantage of the timing of Golden Week to enjoy the cultural ambiance of Hong Kong while stocking up on expensive products that would — at home — cost up to double the price.

Today, the New York Times Globespotters blog gives a glimpse into the fun (and chaos) of Golden Week in Hong Kong, when millions of shoppers (many of whom have saved up throughout the year for their HK shopping spree) converge on this small but densely-packed city to queue up for hours and open their wallets:

European designer emporiums, jewelers and gold shops will all be packed, as mainland Chinese rush to buy goods that are both cheaper, and more likely authentic, than back home. (Unlike China, Hong Kong has no sales or luxury taxes.) For upscale shopping, avoid the crowds by trying department stores like Lane Crawford instead.

As far as the local government is concerned, you can’t have too many festivals. During this hectic period, there is also the Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair from Oct. 3 to 6, and the Hong Kong International Jazz Festival from Oct. 1 to 15. Jazz and antiques aren’t big Chinese tourist draws, so they might be another way to escape from the maddening crowds.

In addition to these festivals and events, this year’s Golden Week will also coincide with Sotheby’s Autumn Auction of Contemporary Chinese and Asian Artwork, taking place on October 6 in Hong Kong. It’ll be a great opportunity for luxury buyers who have come over from the mainland to bid on some domestic contemporary artists and maybe take home a few Yue Minjuns, Zeng Fanzhis or Cai Guo-Qiangs in addition to the boatloads of Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Rolexes they’re going to tote back over the border.

Shanghai’s Zhabei District Gets Its First Five-Star Hotel

Lexington Plaza Hotel Opens 28 Story, 288 Room Hotel In One Of City’s Up-And-Coming Areas

Zhabei's first five-star hotel could attract new business to the district or draw tourists as the area transforms over time

Zhabei's first five-star hotel could attract new business to the district or draw tourists as the area transforms over time

While hotel openings are not exactly uncommon occurences in a metropolis like Shanghai, the opening of Zhabei District’s first five-star hotel is somewhat noteworthy because of its location and novelty. Zhabei, an area known more as the location of the Shanghai Multimedia Valley tech zone and a popular area for foreign companies looking to set up shop in the area than a must-see for travelers or expats, is gradually developing into a more interesting part of town. With new luxury hotels under construction and more restaurants, bars, and attractions sure to follow, the new five-star Lexington Plaza might just be a taste of what’s to come rather than a strange outlier among a wider industrial landscape.

According to the company’s press release, the Zhabei location follows two existing properties owned by the company, in Shenyang and Zhuai, and the brand has plans to open several more properties under the Lexington Collection flag before year’s end:

According to Roger Bloss, CEO and President of Vantage Hospitality, Lexington’s parent company, the Shanghai property is a testament to the success of Lexington’s Freestyle Brand Affiliation in Asia. “Hotel owners worldwide are making smart decisions and choosing an international affiliation, like The Lexington Collection, that provides them with the freedom to do business as they see fit for their customers while enjoying Vantage’s comprehensive resources.”