Tag Archives: Hainan

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.”

ritz carlton Haikou Mission Hills

Ritz-Carlton plans first golf resort in China

ritz carlton Haikou Mission Hills

The  Hotel Company is to open its first luxury golf resort in China, which will open in 2015 in Hainan Island.

Developed by the Mission Hills Golf Club and managed by The Ritz-Carlton, the 201 room resort includes 21 private villas and a dedicated club house.

DON’T MISS: CHINA’S LOVE OF GOLF GROWS

It will be part of the Haikou Mission Hills Golf Club project, which boasts 10 golf courses and will be the largest public golf complex in the world.

Mission Hills Hainan

Designed by architects AECOM with interiors created by Hirsch Bedner Associates, the property includes five restaurants and bars, a Ritz-Carton Spa and extensive leisure facilities including tennis courts, two swimming pools and a recreation pavilion.

SEE ALSO: ILLEGAL GOLF COURSES IN CHINA FLOURISH

The nearby city of Haikou, nicknamed the Coconut City, has recently reinvented itself as Hainan’s new hub for business and tourism.

The region is known for its white sand beaches and is home to China’s national sailing and windsurfing teams.

China Duty Free Group

China to open ‘world’s largest duty free complex’

China Duty Free Group

The popular Chinese holiday destination of Sanya is set to boast the world’s largest duty free complex, according to reports.

Sanya, on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea, is the southernmost city in China and a booming holiday destination for Chinese tourists, boasting an ever-growing number of resorts aimed at both Chinese and international tourists.

Now, it will also be home to the world’s largest duty free offering, some 350,000 square meters of duty-free retail space. Phase one of the two-stage project is due to open next year.

Situated in Haitang Bay, Hainan International Duty Free City will feature a massive retail complex, a luxury brand exhibition area, a designer hotel and a major food and beverage area,.

Hainan province became in 2011 a duty free area for both domestic and international tourists, a bid to make it more competitive with neighboring Hong Kong.

The province currently has two duty-free shops. One is located in the provincial capital of Haikou, and the other is in the resort city of Sanya.

Sanya Beach

2012 Hainan Rendezvous

Hainan Rendez-Vous 2012

2012 Hainan Rendezvous

The third annual Hainan Rendez-Vous, China’s leading superyacht and business jet show, will be held on the 5th-8th of April 2012.

The show is becoming a landmark event for China’s affluent and influential decision makers providing them with a platform for top level communication and collaboration.

The show’s fantastic turnout is due in part to the fact that Hainan is becoming a key yachting hub for China.
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Serenty Coast Marina

Simpson Marine in China

Serenty Coast Marina

Simpson Marine, Asia’s largest yacht brokerage company, has opened a flagship office at the Serenity Coast Marina in Sanya, Hainan.

“Simpson Marine is ready to serve the Chinese market, and specifically its southern part, which is transforming itself into the yachting hub of China.”

On top of the existing 8 marinas in operation, over 12 new marina projects have been identified on the southern coast of China and Hainan. The idea of a Chinese Riviera stretching from Xiamen to Sanya has never been so relevant.
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Caesars Palace Longmu Bay

Caesars plans luxury resort in Hainan, China

Caesars Palace Longmu Bay

Casino giant Caesar’s Entertainment has announced the start of construction on its first non-casino luxury resort, in the Chinese holiday destination of Hainan.

The Caesars Palace Longmu Bay will be a 5-star resort with 1,000 rooms, a Las Vegas-style attraction which will set a ‘global luxury standard’ in China.

The first phase of the project is expected to cover a total of five square kilometers, Caesars confirmed September 27, with a planned opening date of 2014.
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golf Sanya

Illegal Golf Courses In China Flourish

China golf

China seems to be caught in a conundrum. While the country has over the past decade actively encouraged the rapid rise of its middle class, it now seems quite unsure of how to handle the trappings that go with their newfound wealth.

First the hammer came down on billboards advertising luxury brands — from March they were banned in Beijing and Shanghai, as well more regional cities such as Chongqing, for promoting a lifestyle that was both “unhealthy” and “foreign.”

And now the authorities have again turned their attention to the pastime that was at one stage banned for being too “bourgeois” — golf.
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Marriott Renaissance Sanya resort

China opening up Hainan Island to the world

Marriott Renaissance Sanya resort

The marketing spin has been that Hainan Island is the “Hawaii of China” but up until the past 12 months the reality has not quite matched the hype.

Times, though, are fast changing on China’s southernmost territory with the local government this year adding duty-free shopping and opening up its pristine waters to the international yachting community in an effort to lure more tourists to the island.

Hainan, which boasts a tropical climate, is also undergoing a resort-building boom with the Hilton and Marriott chains already this year becoming the latest to develop sites on the island which only saw its first “international-style” resort built in 1999.
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business jets hainan RV

HRV To Fly In 250 Business Elites On Private Jets

business jets hainan RV

Organisers of the second edition of Hainan Rendez-Vous, Asia’s first and only private aviation lifestyle exhibition, announced today that some 250 of the region’s business elites will be flown by private jet to their April 1-4 show in Hainan, a tropical island that is fast developing into China’s version of the French Riviera.

Showcasing the world’s finest private jets, Hainan Rendez-Vous 2011 provides an ideal communication platform for manufacturers and buyers of business aircraft.

It is the only Business-to-VIP-Customer aircraft exhibition in the whole of Asia, and the region’s only show where exhibiting private jet manufacturers actually fly in such a large number of show attendees from their city of origin and back.

In total the event, which also includes a yacht exhibit and luxury property and brands shows, is expected to draw some 8,000 high net worth individuals this year.
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Hainan Airlines

Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines joins airline elite

Hainan Airlines

Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines has become the seventh airline in the world to win a five-star rating from airline reviewer Skytrax.

The prestigious ranking is awarded by Skytrax and is the highest rating an airline can achieve, signifying a “truly consistent and high quality of Product and Service.”

Hainan Airlines was the first mainland Chinese airline to be awarded four star status in 2009 and was elevated to five star last week, with exceptional rankings in long haul business and economy classes and short haul first class service.
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Rich Chinese show off their wealth on the water

They already drive flashy cars, wear expensive watches and eat at top-end restaurants. Now rich Chinese businessmen have found a new way to flaunt their wealth – luxury boats.

“They want to go out on the ocean and have fun — and take VIP clients to fish and negotiate deals,” said Zheng Weihang, secretary general of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association.

With the second-largest number of dollar billionaires in the world after the United States, according to Forbes magazine, China is drawing eager foreign marina developers and boatmakers to its shores to tap the fast-growing market.

China currently has around 1,000 luxury powerboats and yachts moored around the country, and the number is expected to balloon to more than 10,000 over the next five years, Zheng told AFP.
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Another boom week for China’s hotels

Major hotel brands have been unveiling expansion plans in China at a key conference over the past week.

Many chains are planning to considerably beef up their presence in the country, with a series of deals unveiled this week at the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific.

Hyatt announced a total of 11 new properties, confirming that four new hotels would be opened next year in Ningbo, Jinan, Guiyang and Qingdao, a mix of areas designed to target both business and leisure travelers.
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China’s Premiere Luxury Lifestyle Show in Hainan

By most measures, the self-styled “Chinese Riviera” on Hainan Island has a long way to go before catching up to Cannes, St. Tropez or Nice.

But the organizers of Hainan Rendez-Vous at the island’s Sanya resort did their part to boost the area’s image this past weekend, hosting an extravaganza of private jets, vintage and top-end autos, luxury properties and giant yachts.

The first edition of the Hainan Rendez-Vous attracted last week end over 5,600 visitors during the three-day event which featured more than 150 exhibitors.


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Hainan Rendez-Vous 2010

Picture a world where the champagne never stops flowing, the music never stops playing, the jewels never come off and the parties never end…

Now throw in haute cuisine aboard mega yachts, flights aboard gilded private jets, exclusive luxury property launches and private previews of the latest couture collections.

Stir up the action with a star-studded guest list and you’re in for three days of absolute indulgence at Hainan Rendez-vous.

From April 2 to 4, society’s luminaries, A-list celebrities, seasoned jetsetters and connoisseurs will descend onto the sparkling waters of Hainan Island for a unique extravaganza that celebrates luxury living.
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Hainan : Big plans ahead for the ‘Chinese Hawaii’

The Chinese Government has started to roll out plans to turn the southern island of Hainan into what is being called a “global destination” and the private sector has been quick to rally to the cause.

New resorts, visa-free entry to tourists from more countries, duty-free shopping for everyone and the possibility of more sports-betting “lotteries” to increase revenue flow have been touted by the government as ways to lure the world to a destination commonly referred to as the “Hawaii of China.”
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Sun shines on golf’s growth in China’s Hainan

China’s southern Hainan island is playing up its tropical climate in a major plan to position itself as a “golf island”, the capital of the sport in China.

Golf courses have sprouted like mushrooms across the country as the sport catches on, but no place has hitched its wagon to the sport’s boom quite like Hainan, which resembles an oval golf green on a map of the South China Sea.

A decade ago, there were no golf courses here; today there are more than 20 and long-term goals include an eventual 100 courses.
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