Weekly Round-Up (3 October)

Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.

This week marks one of the most important weeks in the Chinese calendar – the National Day “Golden Week” holiday. Twice a year – once in October and again during Chinese New Year, the Chinese government gives the whole country a week off. For background on the Golden Week holidays, read my article here. This year, a record 589 million Chinese are expected to travel during the week-long holiday – that’s almost half the population and an increase of 12% on last year. Want to see some of the scenes that occur when 589 million Chinese travel at once? Check out a few of the photos of Chinese tourists visiting the Great Wall during this year’s Tomb Sweeping Day holiday for an idea!

golden week
Just a nice stroll in Beijing’s Yuyuantan Park during a Chinese national holiday

While many of these trips will be domestic ones to visit family, the Golden Week holidays are also an opportunity for middle-class Chinese to venture abroad. Last year, 4 million Chinese went abroad during the October holiday, and that number is set to rise in 2016. The Chinese government is trying to make sure its citizens are well-behaved while overseas – even offering travel prizes to exemplary Chinese tourists! Meanwhile, a range of countries including Singapore and the UK are going out of their way to attract Chinese tourists and shoppers during this key holiday period.

Here in Australia, it appears to be business-as-usual, with few retailers running targetted campaigns to attract Chinese tourists. This is despite spending by Chinese visitors in the last financial year accounting for almost a quarter of total visitor spending ($8.9 billion). This is particularly disappointing given that it is becoming easier than evgolden week QR codeer before to target Chinese tourists, who are increasingly independent and not restricted by tight package tour schedules.

For retailers who don’t know where to start but want to welcome more Chinese tourists into their stores, we’re here to help. For instance, we can help you get set up with WeChat Pay, one of the favourite ways for young, affluent Chinese tourists to pay. Alternatively, attracting Chinese tourists can be as simple as setting up a WeChat account for your store, and displaying the QR code on your front window. The only stores that seem to understand this at the moment are UGG boot stores! (see right)

Get in touch with us today for a free consultation on how you can make the most of China’s Golden Week holidays. Remember, the next one (Chinese New Year) is only 3 months away so now is the time to start!

 

Australian focus:

International focus:

  • Alipay gains a boost from retailers abroad: The payment giant is inking deals with overseas airports in hopes of cashing in on Chinese tourist spending.
  • South Koreans turn hostile toward Chinese tourists: Rising tensions between South Korea and China and assaults on residents by Chinese tourists have heightened anti-China sentiment. Many Koreans are now calling on their government to scrap the visa-waiving policy for Chinese tourists to the island of Jeju.
  • Chinese Tourists Pump Cash Into a Hot Destination: China: Against the backdrop of China’s slowing economy, tourism is a bright spot. Last year, Chinese tourists took four billion domestic trips, twice as many as in 2010 and significantly more than the 122 million journeys abroad.
  • Chinese Tourists Encouraged to Behave Ahead of Mass Vacation: China’s national tourism body and Ctrip are teaming up to find model tourists to promote travel behavior worthy of emulation -and national recognition. Ctrip will give gifts to exemplary participants, including free travel products.

That’s all for this week’s Round-Up. For more updates during the week on Chinese tourism trends, follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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