“Golden Week”: as Peoples’ Living Standards rise, let them Die Abroad

The following is a partial translation of an article written by Huanqiu Shibao‘s (or Huanqiu Net) reporter Tan Liya (谭利娅), republished by People’s Daily on Monday, 21:16 GMT. Links within the blockquotes inserted during translation.

Main Link: http://world.people.com.cn/GB/15808248.html

As peoples’ living standards rise, more and more Chinese people travel abroad during the “golden week” which starts with October 1. China’s neighboring countries and regions have also gradually ascertained this business opportunity, and before the October-1 golden week, they try all kinds of channels to attract Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists spend big amounts abroad, especially on high-price goods, which makes the local businesses click on their tongues.

According to Beijing media, China Tourism Resarch Institute data forecast that during the October-1 “golden week”, 2.2 million people want to travel abroad, which would add a double-digit percentage to last year’s numbers. It is estimated that on average, each person will spend 950 US dollars, a total of up to 2.1 billion dollars.

South Korea, for its proximity to China, has always been one of the hot travel destinations, and this year is no exception. According to a report by South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo on October 2 estimated that during this years golden week, the number of Chinese tourists has already reached more than 7,000. On September 30 alone, 70 passenger planes on 25 routes flew from China into Incheon International Airport. Those waiting for seats and reservations included, the rate of reservations made for flights to South Korea reached 120 per cent during the national holidays. To solve this problem, South Korea will add 24 passenger planes on 12 routes. South Korea’s Tourism Development Board said: “During China’s national holidays, the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea will reach 70,000, that’s an increase of 20 per cent compared with last year. The tourism revenue they will bring will reach 100 billion US dollars.

Chinese tourists also fire up South Korea’s retail trade to an unusual degree. According to Chosun Ilbo, the huge influence of these customers on the retail trade even brings fashion brands back to life. Reports say that on September 30, there were many Chinese women busy buying at the EnC womens’ clothing store, at Hyundai Department Store Center. A few years ago, EnC was still in crisis, because of management problems which were about to lead to a withdrawal from the Hyundai Department Store Center, but when E.Land Fashion (衣恋, 衣恋时装) bought the brand in 2006, for the Chinese market , events turned again [in its favor]. E.Land Fashion opened EnC stores in top-grade Chinese department stores, and sales in South Korea skyrocketed, too. It is reported that this is because many Chinese tourists who travel to South Korea believe that EnC is “South Korea’s top-grade brand”, and buy five or six pieces of clothing a time. Enc’s sales volume reached 48 billion Korean Won last year, an increase by 30 per cent compared with the previous year. This year’s sales target is 90 billion Won, almost twice last year’s.

China’s neighboring countries and regions, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, have ascertained the “October-1 golden week” business opportunities, and pulled all the stops to attract these “trees of money”. According to Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po, the Hong Kong Touriswm Board and Tourism Council have predicted that during the peak period of the golden week, the daily average of hinterland travel delegations will be 400, and that during the seven holidays, some 700,000 entries to Hong Kong will be recorded. In just 7 days, mainland visitors will spend up to 4.2 billion Yuan. According to Taiwan’s “Central News Agency”, the tourism offices of the Taiwan area have required travel agencies to strengthen quality control during the golden week. […]

[Japan]

Australia isn’t far behind in attracting Chinese tourists. According to a report by America’s “Time” magazine on September 26, the fast-rising number of Chinese tourists is paid close attention to in Australia. During the past year, the number of visitors from China surged by 23 per cent, contributing 3.26 billion US dollars to Australia’s economy. Australian tourism authorities announced a “China 2020 strategic plan” in June. During the next eight years, Australia plans to double the number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia, to a number of 860,000 entries. Reportedly, different from other countries’ approach, Australia values China’s “super-rich” most highly, and wants to attract those people, who are able to stay in five-star hotels, buy luxury articles including top-grade clothes, and to frequent top-grade restaurants. Australian hotels and business people are also trying all kinds of changes to cater to the likes of Chinese tourists. For example, some hotel chains, as they arrange the hotel rooms’ furniture in accordance with the traditional elements and theory of life’s “Fengshui”, hoping that this will add to the Chinese tourists’ convenience.

[Anecdotal retail stories from Hong Kong, apparently based on Wen Wei Po coverage, and from South Korea.]

No comments to be found on People’s Daily’s commenting section, but there is quite a number of them on Huanqiu’s original article:

Poor devils haven’t seen the world (穷鬼们没有见过世面, 2011-10-04 17:28),

Stupid people, lots of money
(人傻钱多, 2011-10-04 16:44), and

Let them die abroad
(死在外面好了, 2011-10-04 16:32).

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Related

» How Tourists spend their Money, Chosun Ilbo, Oct 1, 2011
» Quality Control, CNA, September 29, 2011
» Carrots and Sticks, July 18, 2010
» Chinese Tourists, Taiwanese Traitors, M. Turton, May 30, 2009

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