Tag Archives: Las Vegas

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

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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

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More than ever, affluent Chinese tourists are welcome in the U.S.

After years of relatively minor interest (and in some cases no interest at all!), Hawaii, California and Las Vegas are among American tourist destinations vying fiercely for a vast and largely untapped new market segment. Yes, to be a Chinese tourist these days is to be a widely-sought traveler.
Hawaii has beaches and its famed “aloha spirit” as its siren call. Las Vegas offers gambling and its entertainment-oriented attractions. San Francisco can boast high-end shopping and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Beset by one of the worst recessions in decades, the U.S. destinations are spending significant sums on marketing campaigns in China’s most populous regions, and are urging U.S. embassy officials and Chinese airlines to ease the logistical burdens of flying to the United States.
The payoff could be substantial – particularly in Hawaii, the closest U.S. destination to China but which is, at least for now, harder for the Chinese to reach by air.

Attracting more Chinese tourists “will bring back a lot of jobs” to Hawaii, Gov. Linda Lingle said recently, after returning from a tourism and economic mission to China.
About a half-million Chinese traveled to all U.S. destinations last year, and that number is expected to grow by double digits in each of the next four years mainly because of China’s growing economy and new wealth, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Tourism officials note that the Chinese middle and upper classes each rivals the size of the entire U.S. population, so luring just a fraction would produce huge numbers.
“Everybody looks at China and sees a country with 1.3 billion people and a growing economy, and they say, ‘Oh my God, it’s the greatest travel market that ever was,'” said Professor Frank Haas from School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii.

To lure the Chinese, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has budgeted a total of nearly $2.7 million this fiscal year for marketing there and in Korea. That includes $447,000 to participate in the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which begins in May.
But for the Chinese traveler, preparations for a trip to the U.S. can still be a hassle. Only the U.S. embassy in Beijing and four consulates located mostly on China’s eastern coast handle visa applications, which require an in-person interview. However, traveling in groups, which tourism experts say Chinese prefer, can ease those impediments.

Chinese travelers spend more than counterparts from any other country – about $7,200 per person per trip, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

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