Tag Archives: Chinese luxury consumers

Club Med Woos China with Tai Chi, Mahjong

Club Med Woos China with Tai Chi, Mahjong

Tai chi, mahjong and karaoke are on the menu alongside more traditional offerings such as sailing at Club Med’s new resort on the Chinese island of Hainan, as the French holiday group – now Chinese-owned – adapts its European formula for the market.

The all-inclusive village near the resort town of Sanya is the company’s fourth in China, and it is in talks to open around 15 more in the next four years.

It is something of a reversal of how firms usually target Chinese travellers, with Club Med seeking to bring its model to tourists within the Middle Kingdom, rather than draw them to other countries.

On a 12-hectare (30-acre) beachside estate complete with multiple pools, the emblematic “Gentils Organisateurs” or “GOs” – “Gentle Organisers” – recreate the tried and true Club Med recipe of sports activities, supervised childcare, and unlimited food and drink.

On a stretch of sand dotted with huts and palm trees, Shu Qi, a polo-shirted Beijinger in his fifties, admired the ocean with his elderly parents, wife and three-year-old son.

“It’s a change from crowded beaches! It’s ideal for families,” he said, noting how those near downtown Sanya were notoriously swarmed and often plagued by noisy construction.

Shu discovered Club Med while visiting the Maldives. “It’s very practical, as the price is all-inclusive with meals, and the international atmosphere is good for the children,” he said.

The cheapest of the 384 rooms available at the new Hainan site go for 2,300 yuan ($340) a night.

Club Med CEO Henri Giscard d’Estaing, son of the former French president Valery, told AFP: “We’re aiming at a high-end clientele, a portion of whom have already experienced Club Med while abroad.”

Exile Vacation

Once a place of exile, Hainan island, China’s southernmost province, has become a popular tourist destination, particularly in winter.

In a country where family remains important but workers’ annual holiday quotas are often limited, “the French concept of vacation villages meets the needs of the Chinese very well”, said Qian Jiannong, vice president of Chinese conglomerate Fosun, which bought Club Med last year.

After establishing its first winter sports village in China in 2010, Club Med set up shop amid the stunning karst scenery of Guilin, before opening a beach vacation village on an island in the Pearl River delta between Hong Kong and Macau.

Now the country is Club Med’s biggest market outside France, with some 200,000 clients expected this year and forecasting annual growth of 20 percent.

After criss-crossing the globe to collect trophy selfies at major sites, some well-off Chinese travellers are now turning towards more relaxed staycations.

How Club Med is Wooing China

In this picture taken on October 11, 2016 tourists enjoy the pool side at the Club Med resort in Sanya. Almost two years after being bought out by Chinese investment fund Fosun, the holiday resort French group Club Med tries to import its recipes on a promising Chinese market, where a growing upper middle-class now discovers the concept – still very new in Chinese society – of holiday resorts. © NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP

A Chinese hotel industry overcrowded with establishments that all look alike and designed for business clientele has left Club Med an opportunity, said Giscard d’Estaing. But it faces rivalry from competitors, both foreign – such as France’s Pierre & Vacances, owner of Center Parcs – and domestic.

Sanya tourism was “a very particular seasonal and regional market” Xiao Yimin, research director at Shanghai Fosea Capital, told AFP, adding that Club Med’s success there “doesn’t reflect the maturity of the whole Chinese market, but only a huge concentration of family travelling in one place at seasonal times”.

With outbound tourism growth slowing, competition between providers within China for middle class tourists will increase, he added, and the future might not be as rosy.

Karaoke Rooms

Club Med has sought to adapt to local tastes. In Sanya, there are seven karaoke rooms – always fully booked – and three mah-jong parlors, as well as a 24-hour noodle bar, and tai chi lessons have been developed to appeal to people in their 30s who rarely practice the discipline.

Clients are around two-thirds mainland Chinese, and the rest primarily South Korean or Taiwanese. Under the coconut trees, multi-generational family clans gather as well as couples spoiling their only child without dropping their smartphones.

Families are initially “reluctant to let their kids go off alone to activities, and when they see a GO sit down at their their table, they find it inappropriate”, but soon adapt, said Rachel Mondre, head of customer services.

Tanning, too, is out of the question for the Chinese, who have a traditional preference for pale skin. The group faces other cultural challenges, acknowledged Jason Wen, a tai chi teacher who works at the village.

“People in China are not used to the concept of holiday resorts,” he said. “Club Med might bring progressively a change, but it will be a slow, very slow process.”

Good Wood: Bentley Mulsanne First Edition

Always aiming to push the limit in terms of luxurious exclusivity, Bentley came to the Beijing Auto Show with a handcrafted car that exemplified all of the high-end bespoke craftsmanship that the brand is well-known for. Limited to only 50 examples, the Bentley Mulsanne First Edition is full of functions and adornments that aim to pique the interest and desire of any car enthusiast willing to chase the peak of refinement.

The car will be offered in three forms – standard, speed, and Extended Wheelbase. While Bentley already happens to be the company car connoisseurs look to for high standards, the First Edition aims to be the car that demanding Bentley connoisseurs will turn to, and Bentley has pulled out all the bespoke stops to make that happen. Instead of the picnic tables integrated into the rear of the front seats that usually drop down to take the weight of a table or a computer feature, an integrated sterling silver vanity kit will pop out instead. This was created for the car by Asprey of London, and includes a mirror, hairbrush and a comb – each carefully weighted like a professional chef’s knife. Even the ‘Flying B’ emblem that adorns all Bentleys is uniquely engraved here, while throughout each car there are First Edition motifs, either embroidered on the leather or inlaid in the extensive wood finishing.

Bentley-Mulsanne-First-Edition-Vanity-Kit

Speaking of wood, the Extended Wheelbase model goes a step further, proving that such a thing is very much possible, with a cabin boasting a Fulbeck veneer sourced from a 350-year-old walnut tree. This is obviously one of the most expensive, rare and sought-after wood. The tree happened to fetch a record fee (undisclosed) at auction and Bentley only managed to secure enough of it to adorn its flagship; other first editions have to make do with mere antique Ash veneer.

To prove that Bentley is on the cutting edge of technology, the Extended Wheelbase will come with Bentley 10.2-inch tablets for the rear-seat passengers – running on Android with a Bentley interface overlaid. Content can be streamed to the car’s audio system and the devices can be taken from the car and used at home or in the office.

Bentley-Mulsanne-Interior

“The Mulsanne is the epitome of Bentley’s DNA — exquisite, individual and powerful. It defines luxury in the automotive world and offers the unique Bentley blend of luxury and performance” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors. We’re inclined to agree.

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report.

Chinese Prefer Paris for Luxury Shopping

According to a recently released report, Paris will supplant Hong Kong as the destination of choice for Chinese consumers snapping up luxury goods.

Prepared by the Boston Consulting Group, the report states that more Chinese tourists are expected to take advantage of the weak euro this year and book a trip to Paris in search of monogrammed bags and red-heeled shoes.

For the report, 1,000 Chinese affluent consumers were asked to name the city where they expected to make a luxury purchase in the next 12 months.

Paris ranked first, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo. This is unsurprising of course considering the Chinese customer revealed this pattern in 2015 but the story will get to that later on.

While proximity has traditionally made Hong Kong the first choice, this year consumers are expected to make the trek to the French capital, which is upheld as a dream shopping destination for the affluent Chinese. Great news then for swanky Paris hotels!

Nearly one in four Chinese respondents said they buy luxury goods abroad because they can find better selections.

One in three respondents said they believe it’s important to buy goods in the country where they’re made. The same ratio of respondents said the shopping experience abroad is superior to the experience at home.

The latest forecast hinges on expenditure stats from 2015: Last year, of the 100 billion euros spent on luxury goods, only 23 billion was spent domestically in boutiques in China.

Chinese consumers poured the most money at luxury boutiques in Europe (€35 billion) followed by the US (€14 billion).

According to the report, consumer spending among the Chinese rose from €70 billion in 2012 to €100 billion in 2015.

Analysts also offer insight into the demographic profile of consumers over the next four years: 81 percent will come from the upper middle-class and upper classes, while 65 percent of consumers will be Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1990).

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of where wealthy Chinese consumers bought their luxury goods in 2015:

Europe: €35 billion

US: €14 billion

Hong Kong: €13 billion

Russia and the Middle East: €13 billion

Macau: €2 billion

giza

Top 10 foreign landmarks for Chinese travelers

giza

The pyramids of Egypt has emerged as the most popular landmark Chinese travelers would like to see before they die, according to a new report on the Chinese travel trends.

In the fourth edition of the Chinese International Travel Monitor report by Hotels.com, analysts looked at the travel habits and trends from the biggest travel market in the world, based on the survey results of 3,000 Chinese international globetrotters.

The report predicts that by 2019, the number of outbound Chinese tourists could number 174 million.

Among some of the findings were the most popular destinations for 2015 and landmarks for Chinese travelers.

When asked to name the country they’d most like to visit in 2015, the most popular answer was Australia, followed by Japan, France, Hong Kong and South Korea.

With disposable incomes rising in China, Chinese travelers possess spending power coveted by tourism boards and cities around the world.

A forecast by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for instance, predicts that by 2019, Chinese tourists will spend $264 billion USD.

Top 10 destinations Chinese travelers would like to visit in 2015

1. Australia
2. Japan
3. France
4. Hong Kong
5. South Korea
6. USA
7. Maldives
8. Germany
9. Thailand
10. Taiwan

Top 10 foreign landmarks for Chinese travelers

1. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
2. Mount Fuji, Japan
3. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
4. Palace of Versailles, France
5. Venice, Italy
6. Grand Canyon, USA
7. Himalayas/Mount Everest
8. Niagara Falls, Canada
9. Acropolis of Athens, Greece
10. Sydney Opera House, Australia

Seoul Skyline

Top 10 international destinations for Chinese travelers

Seoul Skyline

 was the most popular international destination among Chinese tourists, thanks in large part to its K-pop phenomenon and K-dramas.

According to the number crunchers at CityMetric Intelligence, the South Korean capital received the greatest number of Chinese visitors in 2013, with 4.3 million tourists hopping on a plane, destination Seoul.

THE MOST SEARCHED-FOR HOTEL BRANDS IN CHINA

The city and country owe much of their popularity in China to their music and entertainment industries, which are exported as unofficial tourism ambassadors for the country.

After Seoul, the next most popular international destinations among Chinese travelers are , ,  and .

Seoul street

While the top five spots are dominated by Asian cities, because of proximity, the list also shows that of all the long-haul possibilities, Chinese tourists are most besotted by New York which drew 646,000 visitors, making it the sixth most popular city on the list, and the top long-haul city.

The most popular European destination was , likely for their shared communist heritage.

Chinese travelers took 100 million “outbound” trips this year with the vast majority visiting Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. But the regions of Hong Kong and Macau were excluded in the CityMetric report.

Top 10 international destinations in 2013 for Chinese travelers

1. Seoul, 4.3 million
2. Bangkok 3.4 million
3. Singapore, 2.3 million
4. Tokyo, 859,386
5. Taipei, 825,475
6. New York, 646,000
7. Los Angeles, 570,00
8. Bali, 387,533
9. Sydney, Australia, 387,000
10. Moscow, 376,500

Most popular long-haul destinations

1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. Sydney
4. Moscow
5. Melbourne
6. San Francisco
7. Dubai
8. Venice
9. Paris
10. Auckland
11. Vancouver

Top Destinations in the Americas

1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. San Francisco
4. Vancouver
5. Toronto
6. Washington D.C.
7. Chicago
8. Seattle
9. Boston
10. San Diego
11. Sao Paulo
12. Rio de Janeiro

Chinese clients hotel

Chinese tourists crave personalized hotel services

Tourists from around the world seem to be increasingly demanding when it comes to what they expect from their hotel, and many are looking for their experience to come with personalized treatment.

Chinese clients hotel

And according to an international survey carried out by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), tourists from emerging countries are among the most exacting.

In a survey of 7,000 travelers, IHG found that in addition to demanding the high quality amenities typically offered by a global hotel chain, guests also expect their hotel to be relevant in terms of local lifestyles and customs.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that a majority of guests expect hotels to provide personalized services tailored to their individual preferences.

Overall, 59% of travelers surveyed say that their stay will be “significantly more comfortable” if personalized services are offered, while more than one out of two people say that such services make them feel more respected.

Expectations vary by age group. While the 18-34 set would like to be offered personalized content during their stay, traveling seniors (aged 65 and up) expressed a desire for healthier food and drink options.

The survey indicated that travelers from emerging markets have a stronger desire for personalized services than travelers from more developed nations.

Over 60% of Chinese (64%) and Brazilian (62%) travelers expect a hotel to customize their experience according to their personal needs, compared to just 43 percent of Americans and 42 percent of Britons surveyed.

Limousine service

For travelers from emerging markets, which IHG refers to as the “new global explorers,” this form of personal attention is seen as a sign of respect.

“62% of Chinese travelers, 54% of Brazilian travelers and 46% of Emirati travelers agree that personalization makes them feel respected compared to 39% of travelers from all countries surveyed,” states IHG’s report.

Finally, the survey also revealed some preferences according to nationality. British travelers are fond of surprises, Americans would like to be able to choose their check-in and check-out times, while the Chinese are keen on interactive applications for finding local points of interest.

Russians, meanwhile, expressed a desire for tourist guides in their language.

SHANGHAI TANG WITH COLOSSI CYCLING

Luxury bicycles – the new status symbol in China

SHANGHAI TANG WITH COLOSSI CYCLING

Luxury bicycles are the new darlings of the fashionable and wealthy in China, reported the Wall Street Journal China Chinese-language website Wednesday.

To capitalize on this demand, Chinese fashion retailer Shanghai Tang has specially launched a limited-edition luxury fixed-gear bicycle.
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Sheraton Qiandao

The most searched-for luxury hotel brands in China

Sheraton Qiandao

Sheraton is the most sought-after luxury hotel brand on the Internet in mainland China, followed by Hilton and Shangri-La, according to a recent report released by Geneva-based luxury market research firm Digital Luxury Group (DLG).

According to the survey, Sheraton, a Starwood brand, came on the top of the list with almost 14 percent of the overall searches.

The report attributes the success of the brand to the fact that Sheraton was the first western hotel brand to arrive in China.

The brand arrived in 1985 right after the economic opening of the country. Sheraton has plans to open 12 new hotels across China in 2012 and expand its portfolio to 80 properties by 2015.

Among the non-western brands, Hong-Kong based Shangri-la comes in third position followed by The Peninsula, also based in Hong Kong, in seventh position.

The Nikko Hotels brand, based in Japan and originally owned by Japan Airlines, came in ninth position.

Under the name “The world luxury index China: Hotels,” the report carried out by Digital Luxury Group, analyzed more than 170 million online searches during the first trimester of 2012.

Top 10 list

1. Sheraton
2. Hilton
3. Shangri-La
4. InterContinental
5. Westin
6. Four Seasons
7. The Peninsula
8. Kempinski
9. Nikko
10. Ritz-Carlton

Vivienne Tam Slippers

Vivienne Tam Does Slippers for Hilton

Vivienne Tam Slippers

Vivienne Tam has designed a pair of slippers featuring a “Water Dragon” motif for Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ Chinese hospitality program, Huanying.

The signature slippers will be available beginning this month exclusively for guests of Hilton Huanying, the Hilton Worldwide program offering tailored welcome experiences for Chinese travelers at 70 participating hotels in 23 countries.
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Dior Store China

Chinese buying more luxury goods at home

Dior Store China

Chinese shoppers are increasingly buying luxury goods in mainland China, turning away from high-end stores abroad and in Hong Kong, a survey indicated Thursday.

The poll by market research firm Ipsos found that Chinese buyers preferred to shop on the mainland for luxury goods in five of its seven categories — watches, cosmetics, clothes, shoes, and wines and cigars.
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Childrenswear in China

China increases its spending on luxury items for kids

Childrenswear in China

While much has been made of China’s ever-growing appetite for luxury items, a new report suggests that more than ever it is the nation’s children who are being pampered with goods from the world’s elite brands.

The Hong Kong-based consultancy Albatross Global Solutions claims that 60 percent of a group of 900 Chinese consumers surveyed said they spent more than 3,000 yuan ($470) per month on luxury items for their children, up from the previous year’s 40 percent who had said the same.
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Chinese tourist Louis Vuitton store

Chinese consumers first in luxury line by 2015

Chinese tourist Louis Vuitton store

Chinese consumers will be the leading buyers of luxury goods brands by 2015, snapping up pricy items at home and abroad, according to a study published Tuesday by the Boston Consulting Group.

“We predict that by 2020, more than 330 cities in China will have the same level of disposable income that Shanghai had in 2010, and that by 2015, China will become the world’s largest luxury market,” the BCG said.
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alain delon watch

Alain Delon Luxury Watch Collection Auctioned

alain delon watch

Chinese buyers showed their economic clout in Paris Thursday at an auction of watches owned by French film idol Alain Delon, with prices going through the roof.

Auction house Cornette de Saint-Cyr told AFP that the sale brought in a total of 443,875 euros ($590,300) as collectors and fans thronged the room while many buyers, especially in China, took part by phone.
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Luxury shoppers China

China starts to look for luxury closer to home

Luxury shoppers China

The growing power of the Chinese consumer might have the world in its thrall but it seems it won’t be too long before their lust for luxury is more satisfied a little closer to home.

Traditionally, Chinese shoppers have had to head overseas to pick up the latest fashions or other luxury items, due mainly to steep taxes on such items back home.

A recent survey by the World Luxury Association claimed that 72 percent of Chinese consumers believed that luxury goods were cheaper overseas than at home, while 69 percent of those polled traveled simply because they had a wider choice of goods available to them when they did.
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cartier panther ad campaign

Luxury watch superstore to target Chinese in Paris

cartier panther ad campaign

Luxury Swiss retail giant Richemont, owner of such brands as Cartier, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre, is to open the world’s largest shop for luxury watches in Paris.

Business Montres quoted an internal memo saying a three-storey 2,200 square metre (24,000 square foot) shop would open early 2013.

The shop would take over the premises of the landmark Old England shop near the Place Vendome, famous for its luxury watch shops and hugely popular with Middle Eastern and Asian tourists, in particular Chinese.
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weibo

Top online resources for China’s luxury shoppers

weibo

Mainland luxury Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly open to shopping for, and finding information about, luxury brands online with news portals.

Weibo is one of the most popular sources for information, according to the results of a survey released November 28 by PR group Ruder Finn Asia.

The survey was conducted among 1057 Mainland Chinese luxury shoppers by Ruder Finn Asia as part of its China Luxury Forecast.
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billboard luxury diamond watches

Chinese demand fuels Swiss watch success

billboard luxury diamond watches

The Swiss watch industry is in rude health with exports leaping once again last month and watchmakers set to notch up a record year thanks to Chinese consumers

Despite the the effect of the global debt crisis, the demand for Swiss watches hit a peak in October, putting smiles on the faces of the country’s 600 watchmakers.

Data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) showed exports rose to 1.9 billion Swiss francs ($2.0 billion), up 18.6 percent on the same month last year.
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