Tag Archives: tourism

Chinese & Cuban Developers Plan Luxury Hotels Targeting “Future American Tourists”

“Hemingway Hotel” Set For Groundbreaking This Year, With A Distinctively US-Focused Target Consumer

Chinese construction firms have big plans for luxury developments in Cuba, as they foresee huge potential for American tourists in the future

Chinese construction firms have big plans for luxury developments in Cuba, as they foresee huge potential for American tourists in the future

Chinese investment in Cuba has largely flown under the radar in the last several years, mainly because China, unlike the former Soviet Union, has not cornered the market for foreign investment in the island nation. Large-scale construction projects have been undertaken by companies from a number of EU countries as well as Canada, but in the last few years there has been a push by Chinese state-run developers to get more market share as many see a (very) gradual thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States in coming years (and huge potential for the US tourism buck).

This week, Reuters reported that a Cuban-Chinese venture is set to break ground on a new luxury hotel focused primarily on the future American tourists that both countries assume will be eventually arrive, ready to splurge on a five-star long-verboten vacation spot:

State-run Suntine International-Economic Trading Company of China and Cuba’s Cubanacan hotel group are partners in the project, which will be a 600-room luxury hotel, the sources, who asked not to be identified, said over the weekend.

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Luxury China Travel Agent Unveils Shanghai Expo Packages

Mandarin Journeys’ 2010 World Expo Package To Target High-End Foreign Travelers During Shanghai’s “Coming Out Party”

The Shanghai World Expo is expected to attract upwards of 70 million visitors

The Shanghai World Expo is expected to attract upwards of 70 million visitors

Mandarin Journeys, a “Western-run, China based luxury tour operator,” has announced an innovative tour package for visitors to Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo, set to take place from May 1 to October 31 of next year. According to a press release, the luxury tours will be designed in association with some of the leading hotels of Shanghai:

Working with such exclusive properties as Langham, Hyatt, Portman Ritz-Carlton, PuLi and JW Marriott, Mandarin Journeys presents a comprehensive selection of Expo tour packages targeted at a worldwide discerning client base.

Based in China and operated by former tour managers and long-term Western expatriates the company caters to independent travelers from Europe, the United States and Australia. Our destinations include China & Tibet, Japan, Central Asia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

 

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.

Red Star To Red Flag: Macy’s Targeting The Chinese Market?

American Retailer Looking To Target Lucrative (And Still-Growing) Chinese Tourist Market?

Is Macy's going to push for more brand recognition among Chinese shoppers?

Is Macy's going to push for more brand recognition among Chinese shoppers?

For years, American retailer Macy’s has adopted several strategies to entice foreign tourists to spend more at its flagship location in New York’s Herald Square, from discount cards for international shoppers to promotions tied to free coupon books. As the global financial crisis bit down on New York tourism in the last year, there are signs that stores like Macy’s may be looking abroad to markets they have never before targeted specifically, namely China, where the number of tourists traveling overseas has skyrocketed in the last 20 years. Cities like New York, where travelers from places like mainland China tend to spend most of their time shopping, are expected to benefit the most from the oncoming wave of Chinese tourists, and since the relaxation of some travel restrictions last year, a noticeable rise in Chinese tourists has already been noted in New York — where Chinese spend an average of $2,200 each, making them the city’s most profligate foreign tourists.

With its size, midtown location and historical pedigree, Macy’s has always appealed to foreign tourists looking for a “New York shopping experience” (or those who just want to take advantage of a comparatively weak dollar to stock up on clothes). If Macy’s truly wants to target the Chinese market, and get a larger slice of the Chinese tourist dollar, they would be well advised to learn a few cultural particularities about Chinese tourists:

1.) Chinese travelers love giveaways…and will go out of their way to get them

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World’s Largest River-Liner Sets Sail In China

The Victoria Jenna Offers Exceptional Views Of Southwest China, Departing From Chongqing, Sichuan Province

Tourists can expect luxurious surroundings as they take in the spectacular views of the Yangtze River aboard the five-star Victoria Jenna (Image: PR)

Tourists can expect luxurious accommodations as they take in spectacular views of the Yangtze River aboard the five-star Victoria Jenna (Image: PR)

Domestic travel has taken off in the last 10 to 20 years in China, with tourists scouring the country looking for unique locales and accommodations as travel has become more effortless and affordable. Although many high-end travelers still head abroad for their vacations, a rising number of upper-middle-class and middle-class Chinese travelers have looked inward to discover areas they had never seen while embarking on new tourism opportunities, particularly in the fast-rising southern and southwestern provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guangxi.

Recently, the American-built Victoria Jenna, at 133.8 meters long and 18.8 meters wide currently the world’s largest five-star river liner, set off from southwest China’s Chongqing city, attracting a flood of reservations and interest from primarily Chinese tourists. Currently, luxury cruises on the Victoria Jenna are sold out until some time next year. For tourists looking for a unique, yet still luxurious, way to see China’s subtropical southwest, with its immense rivers, traditional villages, and lush foliage, river cruises like that offered in Sichuan could become a very popular option in coming years.

As CRI English notes, a cruise aboard the Victoria Jenna is anything but cheap — but for the upscale clientele this cruise line is meant to serve, that might not be a problem:

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Chinese Tourist Groups Set To Depart For UAE And 8 Other Nations

Tour Operators Looking To Chinese Tourists To Give Tourism Industry A Shot In The Arm

China began direct flights to Dubai in 2006. Soon, tour groups will be able to obtain visas much more easily to travel to the UAE

China began direct flights to Dubai in 2006. Soon, tour groups will be able to obtain visas much more easily to travel to the UAE

In recent years, international agreements and relaxed travel laws have made it easier for Chinese tourists and tour groups to head abroad, and as the global tourism industry remains sluggish, Chinese tour groups look set to head overseas, to countries for which it was previously difficult or impossible to obtain visas. Among the countries that Chinese tourists will soon be able to visit in tour groups are the United Arab Emirates, which is projected to be among the most popular destinations for Chinese groups, as direct flights to Dubai have operated through China for quite some time.

Xinhua notes that the new law will take effect September 15, and it would seem that Dubai and the UAE will experience a jump in tourism (and its attendant capital inflow) from this new relaxation of travel restrictions:

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China And Italy Set Up Cultural Partnership

Literary Giant Mo Yan Becomes The Brand Ambassador For Beijing/Lazio Cultural Exchange Partnership, Promoting Chinese And Italian Tourism

Chinese author Mo Yan. Photo © Johannes Kolfhaus

Chinese author Mo Yan. Photo © Johannes Kolfhaus

The respected Chinese author Mo Yan has taken on the role of brand ambassador for a new cultural partnership between Beijing and the Lazio region of Italy, promoting stronger cultural ties between the two governments and attracting more travel from tourists in both regions. Mo, who traveled to Italy to create the documentary “Roman Walks: Travel Diary of Mo Yan,” is well-known in China and the West for two of his novels on which the film Red Sorghum was based, and is widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest literary voices. As Zhang Lei writes, Claudio Mancini, president of Lazio Tourism Board, felt that Mo would be a better “face” for the cultural partnership as he brings the perspective of a Chinese intellectual, and “both Rome and Beijing have ancient cultures.” With this appointment, it will be interesting to see if other world cities create more cultural exchange partnerships as a result.

Zhang goes on to note, the huge population and increasing tourist base of China offers huge opportunities for European travel centers, since only about 5% of the Chinese who traveled abroad last year went to Europe. If only 10% went to Europe, travel operators could expect huge revenues even if other tourists cut back:

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