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The enticing power of Chinese spending

By Juwai, 04 June 2015
chinese tiens group tour france

Forget about global brands duking it out for a share of Chinese cash – now countries are officially vying with one another to rake in Chinese money.

Early this May, Chinese billionaire Li Jinyuan gave new meaning to the word “generous” by sending all 6,400 of his employees to a stunning 4-day holiday in France – all in one go.1

The special occasion? The 20th anniversary of his corporation, the Tiens Group.

Hailed as the largest-ever tour group to visit France1, the whole entourage jetted into Paris on 84 flights and required 140 Parisian hotels, 146 tour coaches, as well as 4,760 rooms in 79 four- and five-star hotels between Cannes and Monaco.2

And France rolled out the red carpet for the Tiens Group delegation. From closing the ritzy department store Galeries Lafayette to pamper them with a private shopping spree1, to closing the famed Louvre museum for a private tour – nothing was deemed too difficult or too costly.

The Tiens Group tour even broke into the Guinness World Records by forming the longest human chain that spelt out the phrase, "Tiens' dream is Nice in the Cote d'Azur".1

Now that’s one trip of a lifetime.


Countries raking in Chinese wealth

How did France manage to clinch this deal with the Tiens Group? According to Christian Mantel, head of French tourism development agency Atout France, it was a hard-won battle against the UK and Italy.

Li had once shortlisted London and Rome as a potential destination for this commemorative trip.

However, it was a victory well earned. Mantel estimates that the Tiens Group legion will splurge approximately $15 million during this one trip alone, while France is expected to harvest total economic profits of up to $20 million too.2

Another country that recently reaped in Chinese cash was Thailand, thanks to Infinitus China – a Chinese direct-sales conglomerate – which treated 12,700 of its employees to a 6-day holiday in Bangkok and Pattaya barely a week after the Tiens Group tour made headlines worldwide.3

Arriving in groups of 2,000 ­– 3,000 at a go, the Infinitus China group commandeered a total of 400 tourist coaches, and savoured giant banquets held for four successive nights at the Royal Cliff Hotel in Pattaya.3

New Zealand joins this list of countries reaping rewards from Chinese interest too, thanks to the popular Chinese reality show, “Where Are We Going, Dad?” (爸爸去哪儿), which brought the show – and the attention of 400 million Chinese viewers – to Rotorua where they filmed their first international destination last year.

Let’s not forget about the US, when California received America’s biggest tour group of over 7,000 Chinese tourists – all who EACH spent an average of $10,000 in merely a week.5 Or how about when a top-grossing Chinese movie, “Beijing Meets Seattle” sparked a wave of property investment and migration to Seattle?

It’s official – the world really just can’t get enough of Chinese.


Scrambling to cater to Chinese tourism

The riveting race for Chinese spending has escalated and surpassed expectation, and it’s all thanks to China’s fast-growing wealth, which has open doors and unleashed a global impact as never seen before.

Last year, Chinese set a new record of 110 million outbound trips, and lavished $500 billion in overseas travelling alone.4 In this year’s Chinese New Year Golden Week itself, about 5.2 million Chinese travelled out of China, spending $22.4 billion overseas.

Learn how to capitalise on Golden Week and capture Fly ‘n Buy Chinese here!

Countries aside, more and more brands are turning their eye towards Chinese. Besides big names include British luxury department store Harrods, as well as Trump SoHo and the Ritz-Carlton in New York, another brand setting their caps on the Chinese audience is TripAdvisor.

Now the world’s largest travel forum with 70 million registered members, TripAdvisor has just announced China as their focus for the next few years to come, as Chinese tourists increasingly turn to them to seek quality travel experiences abroad.

From hospitality to tourism to retail, it’s hard to identify any many industries left untouched by the impact of Chinese consumers today – with real estate being the one industry most heavily shaped by Chinese buyers.

Giving serious weight to this reality is the most recent decision by China’s State Council to further relax constraints on outbound investments in real estate, stocks, and bonds for both Chinese companies and individuals alike – the real clincher.6

With a potential surge in Chinese money outflow predicted, the time for (your) action is now.

Need a helping hand? Kick off your Chinese campaign with us at Juwai. From learning more about Chinese culture to industry intelligence, we’re always happy to help.



Sources: 1. SCMP; 2. CNN; 3. SCMP; 4. China National Tourism Administration; 5. Breitbart News Network; 6.

[Image source: Valery Hachez AFP / Getty Images on CNN]