Tag Archives: Chinese tourists in New York

More content about luxury travel to the United States in 2016 in the prestigious Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine

Shanghai Travelers' Club magazine coversThe Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, the Chinese language publication read by China’s Elite global travelers has disclosed its much anticipated 2016 Editorial calendar yesterday. And clearly, Affluent Chinese travelers love the United States! According to Pierre Gervois, the New York City based Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of this publication “The new generation of Chinese business travelers have clearly chosen the United States as their strategic country for their business browth. We have seen in the past two years a very strong interest from Chinese corporations – and wealthy Chinese invividuals- to invest in the United States. The more they come to the U.S. for business, the more they tend to come back with their family for a U.S. luxury leisure experience”

It’s no more just about luxury shopping: Philanthropy and real estate investment are also hot topics. The January 2016 issue will have “Philanthropy in America” as its main feature. “Many Chinese CEO’s residing in the U.S. are willing to create their own philanthropic foundations in America, as they used to do in China. We’ll publish stories to help them to understand how to create a charity organization with all the necessary partners: banks, wealth management advisors & attorneys” added Pierre Gervois.

Driving a vintage 1960 Cadillac on Road 66 is also part of a true luxury American experience. (You can also rent a brand new Cadillac SUV). The march 2016 issue will feature a “Luxury road trip to America” story. Ralph Lauren ripped Jeans, Louis Vuitton beaten up keepall bag, vintage Rolex, Room 101 skull necklace, a motel with neon signs, this is America.

After the success of the September 2015 men’s fashion issue “The Gentleman Traveler”, The September 2016 issue will also feature a Men’s fashion special edition, with in depth stories about America’s best fashion designers. “Having a tailor made business suit made in USA makes a statement for Chinese global business executives” said Tyron Cutner, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine Men’s Fashion Editor.

Real Estate is probably the hottest topic for Chinese travelers. They invested $22Billion in real estate last year (including the $2Billion Waldorf Astoria building and it’s growing fast. Very fast. The november 2016 issue will feature the most expensive houses and apartments in the United States ($15M+), as well as profiles of New York City best real estate attorneys  and U.S. interior architects.

“Winter Holidays in the American West” will introduce snow experiences in the American West: Colorado, Nevada or Arizona are beautiful in winter time and very desirable destinations for Chinese frequent travelers to the U.S. who had already visited New York and Los Angeles multiple times and want to experience a truly authentic American Christmas time.

Request the 2016 Editorial Calendar & Media Kit of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine here.

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Chinese tourists visit New York but stay in New Jersey hotels

Chinese tourists New York 2013China has become the city’s fastest-growing market for overseas tourists, with the number of visitors from the country jumping 19% in the past year alone, outpacing even the globe—hopping Brazilians. Hotels in the five boroughs, however, are not reaping the rewards, because the price-sensitive travelers are heading to New Jersey, where room rates are significantly cheaper.

Currently, China is New York’s fourth-largest market for overseas visitors—rising from 13th in 2009. An estimated 646,000 Chinese tourists arrived here last year. What’s more, the world’s most populous nation could soon become the city’s No. 1 market, according to tourism bureau NYC & Company, edging out the United Kingdom, which accounted for just over 1 million visitors last year.

The escalation is a result of China’s granting the U.S. “approved destination status” in 2007 and a 2012 executive order by President Barack Obama to reduce the time it takes to get a visitor’s visa at an American consulate in China to less than one week from as much as 100 days.

But just 65% of Chinese visitors, compared with 87% of Brazilians (No. 3) and 84% of the British, rest their heads in the city’s 101,000 hotel rooms. The hospitality industry is eager to improve its odds.

The Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square books large groups of visitors all the time, but none of them are from China. That will change in April, when 300 of Amway Great China’s top sellers from Shanghai will be staying at the property for five nights as part of their reward.

“We haven’t seen a large group from China like this one yet,” said a spokeswoman for Marriott’s properties in New York City. “It’s a big deal for the hotel,” she added.

The 1,949-room Marquis will pay special attention to these guests to cultivate its reputation in China. For one thing, the hotel is supplying each of their rooms with slippers and a teapot. It also retained Terri Morrison, author of Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands, to conduct a seminar on Chinese customs and basic greetings for the hotel staffers who will come in contact with the guests.

Meanwhile, hoteliers in New Jersey say they have more Chinese business than they can handle. “We sometimes turn them away to a sister property,” said Cathy Coanda, director of sales for the Crowne Plaza hotel in Elizabeth. The 260-room property near Newark airport is booking more than 5,000 room nights a year from Chinese tour operators, who request a discount as well as breakfast in exchange for the high volume they bring.

Ms. Coanda wishes some of the groups would reserve during slower times, when it’s harder to fill up the hotel. They pay the lowest rates the hotel can offer. And compared with the Marriott Marquis, which last week listed room rates online of more than $400 per night, the Crowne Plaza is already a bargain at $120 to $140 per night for a room with two beds, according to its website.

Similarly, the Crowne Plaza in Paramus—about 20 miles from midtown Manhattan—tries to limit the number of rooms it books for Chinese groups to 20 at a time. The 120-room property gives groups a discount of up to 35% off the best available rate on its website.

“It’s great business because they leave the hotel at 8 a.m. and return at 9 p.m., so there is less wear and tear on our rooms,” said Michelle Gordon, director of sales for the property. “But they want low rates.”

The preference for New Jersey is not lost on NYC & Company, which is trying to convince Chinese tour operators that there are deals to be had in the city. Many Chinese visitors have friends and family members with whom they stay, but those who come in big tour groups stay in hotels with ample parking for the motor-coach buses that take them everywhere they go in the U.S.

“We are positioning the borough hotels as an alternative to New Jersey, showing the Chinese the advantages of Long Island City, Queens, for example, over Edison,” said Fred Dixon, chief executive of the -bureau.

NYC & Company has set up a “training academy” in Shanghai where it is educating Chinese travel agents, who arrange the vast majority of trips to the U.S., on the benefits of booking a hotel in the city and staying here longer.

“In a 10- to 15-day trip, they are starting on the West Coast and end up at Niagara Falls,” said Mr. Dixon. “They want to see it all, and we are encouraging them to slow down.”

Of course, not all Chinese travelers are pinching pennies. Business travelers and wealthy tourists spend freely at New York hotels. To attract them, the five-star Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue launched a $49 Chinese breakfast about four years ago at its restaurant, Clement, featuring steamed pork buns, shrimp dumplings and stir-fried egg noodles with chicken. It added a $43 vegetarian option in June.

New York’s tourist attractions and retailers are also doing their part to attract the Chinese, who are eager to take in all of the traditional sightseeing opportunities while they are here.

Hornblower Cruises & Events is making a big investment in the market. It hired several Chinese graduate students from New York University to help it launch a targeted tour product. The company dedicated one of its harbor-tour boats for Mandarin-speaking tourists–including Chinese-language banners on the upper decks and a recorded tour of the sights in lower Manhattan. The boat leaves from Pier 15 and makes two trips in the morning, carrying some 800 passengers each day; a ride costs $20. It even serves Chinese dishes, including ramen noodles. Hornblower is planning to add another vessel in May. “We’ve never branded a boat like this before,” said Cameron Clark, vice president and general manager.

Last summer, the Empire State Building introduced a signed certificate given to Chinese tourists to commemorate their visit. No other group gets such special treatment.

“It’s about creating buzz and showing appreciation for their visit,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, director of the Empire State Building Observatory, whose signature appears on the certificate.

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Niuyue Cap on the head, Shanghai Travelers’ Club “Platinum” Card in hand, Wealthy Chinese tourists arrive in New York City

At the 5th avenue Cartier Flagship store, a Chinese customer in Gucci flip flops, Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt and a Niuyue Mag Cap on his head is buying three gold “Tank” watches incrusted with diamonds “One for me, one for my wife, and one for my daughter, who is studying in Chicago”, he says with a big smile. “I’m also platinum member of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club”, he added ,“that gives me a VIP welcome in most of luxury stores here”.
Cultural training is imperative for New York-based luxury flagship store employees to build trust among affluent Chinese tourists and creating a custom experience for this group of travelers will help marketers gain brand loyalists, experts say.
Many luxury brands are focusing marketing efforts to Chinese consumers back at home, but with a rising wave of Chinese tourists coming to New York, it is important that brands cater to this group. Luxury marketers need to be more proactive to reach Chinese travelers by training employees and partnering with high-end travel services.
“New York flagships should be more aggressive in inviting and giving a fabulous experience to Chinese tourists,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York. “The city seems to be behind in attracting and nurturing Chinese consumers.
“New York has been slow to appeal to Chinese tourists, even though there is such as large Chinese population in the city,” he said.
“Retailers need to create personal, emotional connections with these consumers by nurturing them and caring for them, which will create a lasting impression.”
In the capital cities of European countries, luxury flagship stores get 50 percent of their value from Chinese tourists, per Mr. Pedraza.
Europeans have been smart in the way they care for Chinese tourists, who tend to buy in volume on shopping trips.
Meanwhile, the United States has not been as open to tourists in its efforts and may have suffered, given the economic times.

According to Pierre Gervois, author of “How U.S. Retail, Travel and Hospitality Industries Can Attract Affluent Chinese Tourists”, “The U.S. travel and tourism industry has understood the financial power of the new generation of affluent Chinese inbound tourists, and how it can give a boost to the country’s economy, but needs to improve the way Chinese visitors are welcomed and understand better the intercultural issues of marketing”
In the past, European tourists were key for New York-based retailers, but tourism from Europe is on the decline. Travelers from China are now the largest group of tourists in New York, and Indian tourists are another group to look out for in the next decade.
To get Chinese consumers into New York flagship stores, luxury brands should partner with high-end hotels, tour operators and restaurants to keep the brand top-of-mind, according to Mr. Pedraza.
But the marketing strategy for luxury retailers also starts in China, when affluent Chinese travelers are planning their NYC shopping trip, and use Chinese social media networks such as Niuyue Mag, with 200,000 registered members, giving shopping tips and specific insights to Chinese shoppers.
Also airports, limos and hotel concierges play a major role in influencing affluent Chinese tourists since these are all stops on the journey to New York.

“There is no question that luxury brands should be using print and their Web sites to attract tourists to their New York stores by showing the experience that they can expect,” Mr. Pedraza said.
“The travel industry is also a huge opportunity,” he said. “Luxury brands have to romance travel agents to get on the map within the travel industry.”
“Brands need to do a better job at creating these partnerships with travel-oriented brands.”
Once in-store, affluent Chinese tourists will need to be made comfortable. To do so, New York flagship stores should start by training their staff on the Chinese culture and traditions.
Stores should have, at minimum, Mandarin-speaking employees and may also want to train in other dialects from Asia.
“Employees should be well-educated in relationship building, not just to process tourist transactions, but to develop longtime relationships with the brand,” Mr. Pedraza said.
“There are luxury brand stores in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, so these tourist transactions are not a one-shot deal,” he said. “They can also be relationship building.”
Luxury retailers should be aware of the Chinese holiday calendar to understand buying habits during certain holidays and target Chinese consumers for in-store gift buying, per Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners, Boston.
The holiday calendar may also hint at the time when Chinese tourists are more likely to travel.
Training sales associates on cultural greetings can quickly build trust with incoming tourists and encourage foot traffic.
Stores should also offer in-store shipping options so that Chinese consumers can ship items home. This will eliminate the need to pay sales tax and leave the customer more room in their luggage, per Mr. Morris.
“Not only is the size of the luxury market in China significant, but it continues to grow with a burgeoning middle class aspiring to own luxury brands to demonstrate their wealth,” Mr. Morris said.
“New York is a unique, international city where tourists can readily find bilingual associates,” he said. “By focusing on hiring multilingual staff, a retailer has the opportunity to offer exceptional customer service and make the customer comfortable shopping in the store.”

Source: Chinese Tourists Blog

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