China’s voracious consumers have helped to create a new buzzword in Japan, with the term “bakugai” – which translates as “explosive buying” – selected as one of top additions to the Japanese language this year.
Fifty candidates were short-listed by publishing company Jiyu Kokumin Sha for the most popular word of 2015, ranging from new terms from pop culture, anime, politics and sport.
That list was whittled down to two winners, “bakugai” and the new baseball term “triple three,” to describe a .300 batting average with 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs achieved by two players this season.
The baseball phrase will have passed many Japanese by, but the influx of Chinese tourists are unmissable. And their spending sprees are fast becoming legendary among Japanese retailers.
During the Golden Week holidays in early October, around 400,000 tourists from mainland China descended on Japanese destinations, spending an estimated ¥100 billion (HK$6.3 billion) in the space of seven days.
Encouraged by the weaker yen and easier visa requirements, Chinese tourists accounted for fully 27.5 per cent of the total consumption by overseas visitors in 2014, according to the Japanese government’s white paper on tourism. And that percentage is likely to increase when the figures for 2015 are released.
And once they are here, they have a clear of idea what they want to spend their yen on.
According to the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, the favorite digital publication of China’s Elite, the most affluent of Chinese travelers plan to spend between US$55,000 and US$340,000 per year in shopping overseas.
A study by the Japan National Tourist Agency indicated that 63 per cent of Chinese visitors purchased cosmetics and perfume, 55 per cent snapped up food, spirits and cigarettes and 52 per cent bought over-the-counter medicines and toiletries.
Perhaps surprisingly, only 37 per cent of Chinese bought electrical appliances – rice cookers and Japan’s famous high-tech toilet seats remain favourites – although they did buy in bulk. On average, a foreign tourist will spend ¥65,000 (HK$4,093) on appliances, but the Chinese splash out an average of ¥88,000 (HK$5,541).
Chinese tourists’ reputation for “explosive” bouts of buying have been played up in Japan’s tabloid press, which have played up reports of stores having their shelves stripped bare and tourists coming to blows over the last remaining items.
In one incident reported, two families became embroiled in a fight in a Kobe department store in August over the last box of disposable nappies.
Japan has become the most popular destination for Chinese tourists this year, with 2.75 million Chinese arriving in the January-to-July period, up from 1.29 million in the same period in the previous year.
Even the devaluation of the yuan in the late summer failed to appreciably slow down arrivals.
To meet growing demand and take advantage of an agreement reached in May between Beijing and Tokyo to permit additional flights, All Nippon Airways is ramping up its services to China and launched a new route from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to Guangzhou on October 25. At the same time, it doubled its present single daily flights from Haneda to both Beijing and Shanghai.
Similarly, the Laox chain of electronics and duty-free stores opened a new store in Tokyo in June specifically catering to visitors from China and further afield.
The new ¥2 billion (HK$131 million) store, in the Shinjuku district, stocks around 50,000 items, including home appliances, watches, cosmetics and household goods, all spread out over 2,100 square metres of floor space.
Source: South China Morning Post. All rights reserved.
The Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, the Chinese language publication read by China’s Elite global travelers has disclosed its much anticipated 2016 Editorial calendar yesterday. And clearly, Affluent Chinese shoppers love the United States! According to Pierre Gervois, the New York City based Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of this publication “The new generation of Chinese business travelers have clearly chosen the United States as their strategic country for their business browth. We have seen in the past two years a very strong interest from Chinese corporations – and wealthy Chinese invividuals- to invest in the United States. The more they come to the U.S. for business, the more they tend to come back with their family for a U.S. luxury leisure & shopping experience”
But It’s no more just about luxury shopping: Philanthropy and real estate investment are also hot topics. The January 2016 issue will have “Philanthropy in America” as its main feature. “Many Chinese CEO’s residing in the U.S. are willing to create their own philanthropic foundations in America, as they used to do in China. We’ll publish stories to help them to understand how to create a charity organization with all the necessary partners: banks, wealth management advisors & attorneys” added Pierre Gervois.
Driving a vintage 1960 Cadillac on Road 66 is also part of a true luxury American experience. (You can also rent a brand new Cadillac SUV). The march 2016 issue will feature a “Luxury road trip to America” story. Ralph Lauren ripped Jeans, Louis Vuitton beaten up keepall bag, vintage Rolex, Vincent Peach leather bracelet, a motel with neon signs, this is America.
After the success of the September 2015 men’s fashion issue “The Gentleman Traveler”, The September 2016 issue will also feature a Men’s fashion special edition, with in depth stories about America’s best fashion designers. “Having a tailor made business suit made in USA makes a statement for Chinese global business executives” said Tyron Cutner, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine Men’s Fashion Editor.
“Winter Holidays in the American West” will introduce snow experiences in the American West: Colorado, Nevada or Arizona are beautiful in winter time and very desirable destinations for Chinese frequent travelers to the U.S. who had already visited New York and Los Angeles multiple times and want to experience a truly authentic American Christmas time. A lot of opportunities for U.S. luxury retailers to showcase their products and services to their Chinese customers.
Request the 2016 Editorial Calendar & Media Kit of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine here.
We have all seen these cheezy advertising campaigns made by department stores or western brands trying to attract Chinese tourists in the last years: Be assured that affluent Chinese tourists were also smiling… But it is going to change. Exit the low quality shopping publications targeted to Chinese tourists that ended in the hotel rooms trash bins. U.S. and European Luxury brands and high end retailers start now to advertise seriously with affluent Chinese tourists.
Although luxury sales in mainland China have still remained in slowdown mode in 2015, and Hong Kong has recorded a significant slump as well, Chinese spending remains a potent force in the global luxury industry, propping up growth rates in developed markets worldwide.
This week, Hermès reported a 22 percent increase in global sales in the second quarter, with sales in Japan leaping 33 percent—a figure attributed in large part to an influx of big-spending Chinese tourists attracted by a weaker yen and easier travel. On a global scale, Chinese travelers are spending lavishly: a recent Global Blue report found that Chinese tourist spending jumped 87.8 percent in June, while spending on leather goods in Europe grew by an even more staggering 93.7 percent. Year-to-date spending growth sits at a whopping 110 percent.
These numbers contrast sharply with the situation in mainland China and Hong Kong, one that is particularly striking in formerly triumphant Hong Kong. Last week, Burberry reported a “double-digit percentage decline” there for the three months ending in June, while sales of Swiss watches in the former British colony were down 21.2 percent in June, despite 3.3 percent growth worldwide.
These numbers further support the trend that growth is following Chinese tourists abroad, and brands need to keep up with their changing location preferences for travel—engaging outbound shoppers before they leave China and when they arrive overseas. Recent stats also illustrate the ever-shifting tides of Chinese travel patterns. Whereas Japan was, just a few years ago, faced with a Chinese tourist slump (caused in no small part by Sino-Japanese political tensions), the country is seeing a wave of Chinese arrivals and spending, owing to cooling attitudes toward Hong Kong and South Korea’s currency fluctuations and MERS outbreak.
Amid these rapid and unpredictable changes, what is clear is that brands need to have plans in place to quickly jump on opportunities, and ensure they’re able to reach and influence the Chinese outbound consumer wherever he or she happens to be in the world.
“Luxury retailers like Bloomingdale’s have well understood the importance of targeting affluent Chinese tourists”, said Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus and Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, a high end publication in Chinese language for High Net Worth Chinese global travelers. “Bloomindale’s and the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine have launched a very creative marketing and PR campaign this spring showing actual Chinese customers and what it feels like to shop at the iconic Bloomingdale’s store in NYC.” Gervois added. This campaign has generated a considerable attention on Chinese social media and is the first ever campaign focused on the Chinese customer and the overall shopping experience in a U.S. luxury retailer. An example to follow for the industry.
Source: Jing Daily / Chinese Tourists Blog / Chinese tourists in America
New York City hopes to reach 67 million annual visitors by 2021, and a big part of the plan is attracting big spenders from places like China and Brazil.
Of that 67 million goal, New York expects 16 million will come from international markets, and 51 million stateside. Based on city figures, 965,000 tourists came from Brazil, and 809,000 from China last year, which ranked Nos. 2 and 3 in international tourism to the city.
“China’s been growing a little faster in percentage from a rate-of-growth perspective, so China’s been a huge growth market for us,” said Christopher Heywood, spokesman for NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism bureau. “Brazil in the last few years has also been [growing], and it still will grow this year, but our big focus is on China.”
An informal survey by China Daily of major US tourist cities finds that the Chinese and Brazilians are substantially increasing their visits.
New York expects 1 million visitors from China by the end of 2018, Heywood said.
Only a few years ago, Brazil and China were not ranked in the top three international markets for New York, but have overtaken European markets such as France, Germany, and Italy.
“One thing about Brazil and Chinese is they don’t mind coming in the winter months, so for Lunar New Year, a lot of our Chinese visitors come during that period,” Heywood said. “The Brazil market, they don’t mind the novelty of being in the snow and being in the cold, so they don’t mind coming in those winter weather months, which is exactly the time of year we want to fill the gap and create more demand during the first quarter,” Heywood said.
Las Vegas is seeing a steady increase of travelers from the two countries, which along with Australia, have been major growth markets for the gambling capital, despite not having direct flights to any of the three countries.
“Our market share and growth has been very good, and our growth in Las Vegas over the last three years has been slightly higher than the growth to the US from China, so we feel very comfortable about that,” said Rafael Villanueva, senior director of international sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“We realize that we’re not going to go out there and get gobs and millions immediately, so we want to do it correctly,” he said. “As the second-tier cities in China start opening up, that’s going to be our volume market.”
“Chinese businessmen like Vegas to close business deals with their American business partners” noted Pierre Gervois, Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine. ” we have seen a trend since the beginning of 2015, where Chinese Executives came to New York City for business, and organized a two days trip to Vegas, inviting their U.S. counterparts -sometimes in private jets-, in order to close their business deal and have good time”, Gervois added.
Those are the visitors who are going to the US to experience what Villanueva called the “sampler plate”. He said “they came and visited 10 cities in the two to three weeks they were here, and now they’re coming to the US to spend a little more time in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas”.
Las Vegas welcomed 300,000 visitors from China in 2013, up from 263,000 in 2012, and 187,000 from Brazil in 2013, up from 161,000.
The Chinese make up a much smaller portion of Miami’s visitors, but there is growth. The city doesn’t have specific data on the number of Chinese tourists, only air studies completed by the city’s airport air service consultant, and it estimates that the Miami market generated 55,000 Chinese passengers in 2014.
Source: China Daily USA / Amy He
“As Chinese entrepreneurs are becoming more and more international, they are more attentive to their personal style while in business meetings or in corporate events” said Pierre Gervois, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief.
The newly appointed Men’s Fashion Editor, Tyron Cutner, will be in charge of this new editorial feature. An expert in men’s fashion, Tyron Cutner is a well known fashion adviser in New York City and will bring his expertise and style to the publication.
“I feel proud to be part of the prestigious Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine. Every month, we’ll share with our Chinese readers the latest trends in Men’s fashion and accessories, as well as the basics that every international gentleman must have in his suitcase when traveling”, said Tyron Cutner.
Every month, starting in September 2015, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine will feature a section providing fashion advice for the modern, style conscious, Chinese businessman. Wether he’s attending a negotiation meeting in New York City, at a Charity ball in London, or attending a gala dinner in Paris.
According to a survey by China Elite Focus, 74% of Chinese male entrepreneurs and top executives aged 30 to 45 agree that paying attention to their personal style has a positive impact in conducting business. And a staggering 81% think that they receive a “Disappointing” or “Very disappointing” welcome when shopping in the United States.
“It’s also important that fashion brands realize that they need to substantially improve the way they interact with affluent Chinese customers in the United States. We hope that this new editorial content will encourage U.S. retailers to implement long awaited changes in the customer service towards Chinese travelers”, Pierre Gervois added.
The Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine is a China Elite Focus Magazines LLC publication withg offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York City.
According to the California Travel and Tourism Commission, Chinese tourists’ average spending of $6,000 per person during a trip to the US is the highest in the world. Wide selections of designer’s bags and shoes drive Chinese to California on shopping sprees. A 7,000-member Chinese tour group traveled to California last summer, and each member spent $10,000 on average during their one-week stay.
The biggest driver of this growth appears to have been the visa policy approved by Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009. At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in November 2014, the two leaders agreed to extend tourist visas to 10 years and student visas to five years.
Following the November agreement, U.S. consulates in China have recorded a 68 percent increase in visa issuance, indicating a spectacular increase in the plans for Chinese to visit the U.S. in the future, with most coming at least initially to California.
At the fall 2014 “Visit California Outlook Forum” attended by over 500 California tourism industry professionals at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs, experts predicted that Chinese visitors will spend $2.2 billion in California in 2015 and 2016.
The China Daily reported that Kathryn Smits of International Tourism at the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board told the Forum that airline service between China and California major gateways of Los Angeles and San Francisco has increased 44 percent.
Chinese airlines have added new direct flights from Los Angeles to cities in China or plan to add flights due to the availability of Chinese-language services to assist travelers. In July, Air China will add a third daily direct flight from Los-Angeles and Beijing and China Eastern Airlines will start direct service to Hefei, in southeast China. Both airlines credit the relaxed visa policy for accelerating growth.
The Beverly Hills Visitor Center commented that more than half of the premier stores in Beverly Hills now employ Mandarin Chinese-speaking salespersons. Most stores in Beverly Hills stores accept China’s Union Pay credit card. Five-star Beverly Hills hotels now feature Chinese-style breakfasts and house slippers year round. The Visitor Center also provides shopping maps and discount coupons printed in Chinese. The Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, China’s most prestigious luxury travel magazine has endorsed Beverly Hills as a top U.S. destination for High Net Worth Chinese. It helps.
Well-heeled Chinese tourists seem to like what they have seen on their visits to the Golden State. Southern California real estate agent Le Yuan told the China Daily that he had seen a double-digit increase in clients this January. Many Chinese clients can fly here to see the houses and neighborhood,” Le said. “Travel is just so easy.”
Book your holiday now, before a wave of 174 million Chinese tourists snap up the best bargains.
Already the most prolific spenders globally, the number of Chinese outbound tourists is tipped to soar further as the millennial generation spreads its wings.
Here are the numbers: 174 million Chinese tourists are tipped to spend $264 billion by 2019 compared with the 109 million who spent $164 billion in 2014, according to a new analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. To put that in perspective, there were just 10 million Chinese outbound tourists in 2000.
How much is $264 billion? It’s about the size of Finland’s economy and bigger than Greece’s.
“China-mania spread globally in the past few years, akin to when the Japanese started travelling some 30 years ago, when the world went into frenzy then, pandering to Japanese customers’ needs,” the analysts wrote. “In our view, this is going to be bigger and will last longer given China’s population of 1.3 billion vs Japan’s population of 127 million.”
Millennials, or 25- to 34- year olds, are expected to make up the bulk of Chinese tourists at 35% of the total, followed by 15- to 24- year olds accounting for around 27%.
“Chinese travelers now massively prefer to shop overseas. Buying a luxury product in Mainland China is seen as “Uncool” and shows that you can’t afford to travel to New York city, Paris or London to buy at the original brand ‘s flagship store” says Pierre Gervois, Publisher of the New York City based Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine.
The projected boom could be good news for the global economy. The Chinese are the world’s biggest consumers of luxury goods, with half of that spending done overseas. Chinese visitors to the U.S. have risen more than 10% since 2009, the fastest pace for a destination outside of Asia. Australia, France and Italy are also popular.
Asian markets stand to benefit, with the biggest uptick tipped for Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, according to the research led by Billy Ng in Hong Kong.
Source: Chinese tourists Blog / Bloomberg / Bank of America
With the number of Chinese visitors to Japan exceeding 2 million for the first time in 2014, Japanese store operators are racing to China to promote their outlets for prospective tourists to Japan.
Don Quijote Co., the operator of Don Quijote discount stores, which have been a popular destination for Chinese tourists to Japan, opened a liaison office in Beijing on Jan. 8.
While the company has not made marketing efforts in China, its outlets are known among Chinese tourists by word of mouth as stores where they can buy a bundle of electrical appliances, brand fashion items and cosmetics at discount prices.
The liaison office will work with travel agencies in China to promote Don Quijote stores to be included as stops in package tours.
“We will promote our stores by letting people know that we are open until late in the evening for the convenience of tourists who have a limited amount of time,” said a company official in charge of overseas marketing.
Don Quijote also plans to open a special website in February, which will allow foreigners planning to visit Japan to reserve items they plan to buy beforehand.
The number of Chinese visitors to Japan totaled 2.22 million during the January-November period of 2014, up 82 percent from the total number in 2013.
While the soured diplomatic relations between the two countries continue, the rapidly weakening yen in 2014 has made Japan an ideal shopping destination among Chinese overseas travelers.
Also on Jan. 8, major credit card company JCB Co. announced that it will release credit cards in China that provide special services and offerings for users during their visit to Japan.
The holders of the cards will be eligible for courtesy tickets to various sightseeing spots in Japan, free rental of mobile Wi-Fi devices for Internet connection and other special offerings.
The company also provides a free smartphone app for Chinese tourists, which offers sightseeing information in Tokyo.
Among the operators of major department store chains, Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. will distribute brochures promoting its stores in Tokyo and Kyoto at its outlet in Shanghai from Jan. 16.
The Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine will also publish special luxury shopping content about Japan’s premium retail stores to further promote Japan as a leading luxury shopping destination in 2015.
J. Front Retailing Co., the parent company of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co., has also distributed brochures introducing its 10 major outlets in Japan at about 360 travel agent offices across China.
Russia has become the most attractive shopping destination for Chinese tourists this season, surpassing Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the US, Xinhua news agency has reported.
Russia surpassed other countries in large part due to the devaluation of the ruble, which, together with the white winter, has made the country a “paradise for shopping” destination among Chinese tourists in the traditionally ‘dead’ winter season, RIA Novosti has explained. According to calculations by China’s “Ctrip” travel agency company, prices for Russian goods have fallen by at least 30 percent, turning Russia into what Guangzhou’s Southern Metropolis Daily calls a dark horse for tourism.
Moreover, as Xinhua has explained, travel agencies in Guangzhou, the capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, have reported that the tour packages to Russia for the month of January have been almost completely filled. Guangzhou residents, who have never seen snow at home, have noted that they plan on going to Russia with two purposes in mind: as tourists and as shoppers. While in Russia, many plan to buy items such as mobile phones, brand name clothing and shoes, and cosmetics, items which many Russians had been bringing home from tourist trips to China not so long ago. Chinese tourists can expect to save up to four million yuan by booking trips in the winter months, Xinhua has explained.
Since the beginning of the sharp slide of the Russian currency last month, Chinese tourists were reported to have begun arriving in droves in Russian cities, both in the Far Eastern border areas and Russia’s European half, to take advantage of deals made possibly by the favorable exchange rate. “I have never seen so many Chinese people in Moscow; it feels like I am shopping back home,” an exchange student told Shanghai’s China Business News late last month. Chinese shoppers in cities such as Moscow were said to have focused then on the purchase of luxury brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Cartier, allowing them to avoid steep import taxes on the luxury items at home.