Category Archives: Nevada

Chinese New Year: Las Vegas Lays Out Red Carpet for Chinese Tourists

Chinese gamblers - China Elite FocusHotels and shopping malls on the Las Vegas Strip will welcome Chinese tourists with free gifts, lucky draws, dragon dancing, and traditional Chinese entertainment during the Lunar New Year.  Feng shui masters have even been called in to create floral displays with Chinese themes in shopping malls, hotel lobbies, and other locations as Lac Vegas pulls out all the stop to welcome Chinese travelers, who are visiting Sin City in ever increasing numbers. Luxury Hotels of America, a Chinese mandarin travel magazine has already planned a special issue on Las Vegas due to the high demand of its affluent Chinese readers.
“We recognize the value and power of the Chinese traveler,” says Janet LaFevre, Senior Marketing Manager, Fashion Show and Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian.
“We are expanding our reach to the Chinese tourist through recent sales missions to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou, along with Chinese advertising campaigns, social media, and trade show participation. Our efforts are already paying off via our cooperation with UnionPay, which will help to draw even greater numbers of Chinese shoppers to Fashion Show and Grand Canal Shoppes.”

Brian Chuan, Director of Tourism Marketing and Development for Macy’s Inc., which has a large department store at the Fashion Show shopping mall, is equally upbeat.
Along with Grand Canal Shoppes, Fashion Show is collaborating with UnionPay – China’s most popular credit card – to make Chinese travelers feel welcome in Las Vegas during the Lunar New Year.
“We have partnered closely with UnionPay and have accepted UnionPay card payments at all our stores for nearly 10 years,” Brian says.
“Macy’s has a dedicated tourism marketing team offering exclusive visitor programmes, and our Fashion Show store features a Visitor Center to service visiting guests. In celebrating the coming of the Year of the Horse, Macy’s will further our focus in welcoming Chinese shoppers with special in-store events, displays and merchandising at select destinations.”

Chinese travelers are becoming a force to be reckoned with in many parts of the world, and Las Vegas is no exception.
“China is currently the number one source of international travel to Las Vegas from Asia and continues to grow at a rapid pace,” says Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“Las Vegas welcomed 263,000 visitors from China in 2012, a 40% increase from the prior year.”

Source: http://www.accidentaltravelwriter.net

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Nevada

American Travel Marketers Aren’t Prepared for Flood of Affluent Chinese Tourists

Global hotel chains, airlines and luxury retailers can expect tens of millions of new customers from China in the coming years, but few Western companies are prepared for this influx or have a clear understanding of exactly what Chinese tourists require and expect for their yuan. In the United States, where one million Chinese tourists will arrive in 2011 to visit the country for leisure trips (and with an average of $6,000 in their pockets ready to be injected in the Nation’s economy), very few travel marketers are ready for that.

The growing number of affluent Chinese travelers “will completely change the face of tourism,” especially in hot destinations such as New York, Las Vegas, London and Paris, said Pierre Gervois, president-CEO of China Elite Focus, which specializes in affluent Chinese outbound tourism. “There will be an influx of wealthy travelers.”

China will overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest tourism market by 2013. Sixty-six million Chinese will travel overseas this year — a 15% increase over 2010 — and that number is expected to reach 100 million by 2020, according to the World Tourism Organization.

Just a few years ago, few Chinese went further than shopping excursions to Hong Kong or gambling junkets to Macau organized by budget tour group operators. Today, Chinese tourists are more likely to be affluent independent travelers looking for customized experiences along with the comforts of home.

“Everyone stands to benefit because the Chinese market is growing so fast,” said Bruce Ryde, general manager of InterContinental Hotels’ Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, who appeared on this week’s episode of “Thoughtful China,” a video program produced in China.

But the global travel and tourism industry doesn’t understand these travelers yet. “The biggest issue is language,” Mr. Ryde said. “The Chinese traveler appreciates and needs a certain amount of translation [when] it comes to menus, hotel information and just general conversation. There needs to be some preparation.”

“The most important thing the hotels need to be thinking about is understanding and tapping into the cultural differences, and ensuring they understand what’s important to Chinese travelers,” said Gary Rosen, who recently resigned as senior VP and head of global operations for InterContinental Hotels Group.

Some hotel and retail chains have started to tap into this market. This summer both Hilton and Starwood introduced touches aimed at Chinese travelers such as stocking instant noodles, Chinese teas and tea kettles in mini-bars, offering Chinese TV channels and slippers in guest rooms, and serving congee (hot rice porridge) and dim sum at breakfast.

Food is especially important. Don’t be surprised, Mr. Gervois said, if Chinese tourists, both rich and poor, prefer instant noodles in the room over local cuisine.

Hilton and Starwood have also translated corporate websites, welcome letters and local sightseeing information into Chinese and hired dedicated front desk staff fluent in Mandarin.

The goal is to make them feel at home the same way Western hotel chains cater to Western travelers in Asia, said P.T. Black, “Thoughtful China’s” senior creative director in Shanghai. “If a hotel can provide Americans with a hamburger in Hanoi, then Chinese should get noodles in Nice.”

Luxury retailers and top tourism destinations such as the Louvre in Paris have followed suit. Many Chinese still don’t have Western credit cards, for example, so Harrods in London brought in 75 UnionPay machines “so Chinese can use their own local cards to get money out,” said Chloe Reuter, a luxury retail specialist based in Shanghai.

While Western companies struggle to adapt to Chinese travelers, Asian firms are trying to expand, such as Hong Kong-based Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts, which recently opened a five-star property in Paris.

“All the luxury hotels in Paris are really worried,” Mr. Gervois said. Their owners realize Shangri-la “knows exactly how to talk to wealthy Chinese travelers, what kind of food they expect, what kind of service they expect. I think Chinese brands with a lot of quality and content will really have big success expanding abroad.”

Foreign companies should also be working harder to provide online product information and reservation options in China, which has over 400 million internet users, Ms. Reuter said. There’s a missed opportunity for a global travel portal that curates news and information, she said. “Chinese spend hours, if not days, searching for information about where they want to go [but] no one is telling people, here’s your Chinese-language app for where you need to go shopping in Paris.”

Article by Normandy Madden, senior VP-content development, Asia/Pacific at Thoughtful China, and Ad Age’s former Asia editor. See earlier episodes of Thoughtful China here.

Source:  www.chinesetourists.wordpress.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Nevada, New York

Las Vegas rolling out the red carpet for Chinese gamblers

It’s the time of year when red and gold lanterns adorn Strip casino ceilings and citrus trees line hotel lobbies. It isn’t your typical New Year’s décor but a sign that Las Vegas is ready to usher in another round of celebrations — and one of its most profitable periods of the year.

The Chinese New Year officially begins today, bringing thousands of domestic and international tourists to Las Vegas and injecting million of dollars into the city’s economy.

The holiday ranks among the busiest times on the Strip, along with New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl weekend, which coincides with the beginning on Chinese New Year.

“Chinese New Year very important to us financially, maybe not in terms of overall visitor count, but clearly for gaming volumes, especially baccarat. The financial impact can rival what the town experiences for New Year’s Eve,” said Greg Shulman, vice president of international marketing for the Bellagio.

Shulman said the majority of MGM Resorts International’s customers travel from Southern California for the holiday, but their higher-end customers come from areas such as Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan.

As said Patrick Cooke, Vice President of US Sales and Marketing of China Elite Focus, a marketing agency helping resorts and casinos to attract wealthy Chinese visitors “The second wave of wealthy Chinese gamblers is coming to Las Vegas. The first wave arrived about five years ago, it was mostly Chinese businessmen spending two days in Vegas after business and official meetings in NYC of Los Angeles, now, this second wave is made of pure leisure tourists who stay one full week in Vegas and may easily have a budget of $100,000. This is a huge opportunity for Vegas resorts and Casinos”

Chinese New Year typically attracts a high-end clientele who spend more than the average vacationer, especially on the casino floor with high stakes gaming like baccarat. The holiday will last through mid-February, resulting in longer stays for international guests with extended vacations.

Shulman said it’s not uncommon for a guest coming from overseas to stay for up to two weeks and at multiple resorts. It’s more about the experience for those guests, he said. Strip casinos have been preparing their grounds for weeks with traditional and ornate decorations to welcome guests for the holiday.

The Bellagio Conservatory features thousands of live flowers surrounding an 18-foot statue of Cai Shen, the Chinese god of prosperity.

About 8,500 plants have been fashioned into a mother and eight baby rabbits in honor of the Year of the Rabbit.

MGM Resorts will kick off the new year with ceremonial lion dances at Bellagio, MGM Grand, Aria and the Mirage. The dance is meant to ward off evil spirits of the past year and bring good luck for the new year.

The celebrations at MGM Resorts will culminate with a gala for invited guests at Aria on Saturday for invited guests.

Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment each have traditional lion dances scheduled at their properties, as well as special menus catering to their Asian guests.

This weekend, Caesars Palace will host performances — they are nearly sold out — by Hong Kong-based singer and actor Jacky Cheung, Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner said. The shows are expected to bring an additional 4,000 people to property each night of Cheung’s three-night stay, he said.

“The holiday is always a busy time for Caesars Palace, but this year in particular because it lands on top of Super Bowl. Each of those are busy times, so the two of them together is going to be spectacular,” Selesner said. “It’s clearly one of the most important the periods of the whole year.”

The majority of the wealthy guests staying at Caesars Entertainment properties for the holiday will be at Caesars Palace, but just like domestic customers, some prefer the budget-friendly hotel-casinos for their attractive prices, Selesner said.

“Each of the other properties in Las Vegas, they are all celebrating Chinese New Year with their customers with decorations, promotions and special events,” Selesner said.

While properties like Caesars Palace have been celebrating Chinese New Year for more than 35 years, M Resort is ringing in its first. General Manager Jody Lake isn’t ready to let the Strip casinos be the only ones to cash in on the holiday.

Lake, who came to M Resort from Station Casinos in July, said Palace Station in particular targeted Asian clients and is where he learned the importance of marketing the holiday.

“The business Chinese New Year has generated on the Strip is pretty substantial. With all the events the Strip casinos have, they pull all the play their way,” Lake said. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve seen a greater influx in Asian business to our property, somewhat due to our location and the ability to get here from California.”

Lake said M Resort has a “significant” Asian host program, which the resort has been actively marketing in the Los Angeles area. The resort held an event in Chinatown in Los Angeles a few weeks ago and expects to see more customers as a result.

The resort will be hosting its first lion dance this weekend, as well poker tournaments and special menus at its restaurants for the occasion. M Resort will be selling specialty $8 chips, a lucky number in Asian culture, commemorating the Year of the Rabbit.

“The holiday is a lot of fun,” Lake said. “It brings a good crowd and good energy, and it just brings a lot to the month of February.”

Source: www.lasvegassun.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Nevada