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Posted by Samantha Jaddou on December 28, 2012
We have just celebrated Christmas, but I’m increasingly looking forward to the Chinese New Year as this will be my first time spending the Chinese New Year in China in 12 years!
Reading the reports on how much US consumers spent this year during the holiday month made me reflect on what Chinese consumers do during their single most important holiday of the year — and how they spend their money. While the Chinese New Year is traditionally about celebrating the New Year with friends and family, in recent years an increasing number of people have chosen the unconventional route and used this time to visit other countries. According to Ctrip.com (quoted by Sina Finance), more than 50% of the packages to the US, Middle East and Africa, and Australia were booked two months before the Chinese New Year. And wherever Chinese travelers go, they shop: If you’ve ever seen a Chinese travel group’s itinerary, you will know that a couple of stops at a shopping mall or an outlet are usually incorporated into the plan.
My colleague Zia Daniell Wigder writes regularly about how Chinese consumers buy luxury goods online. In her recent report Selling Luxury Goods To Online Shoppers In China, she points out that the luxury goods market in China is booming. But luxury goods are still less expensive in the home countries of the brands, and Chinese travelers love to take advantage of that. Plus, a Hermes bag from Paris sounds more authentic anyway.
According to The Guardian, China's travelers spent $54 billion overseas in 2010 and $72 billion in 2011; according to the World Luxury Association, Chinese people who traveled overseas during the Chinese New Year in 2012 spent $7.2 billion on luxury goods. So, retailers in popular destinations for Chinese travelers should make sure they extend the holiday season through the Chinese New Year and give their Chinese visitors a warm welcome.
Here are some of the things that appeal to Chinese travelers:
Do you work in retail in a market affected by Chinese New Year travelers? What have you done (or seen being done) to attract their custom? Share your stories with us in the comments below.