Tag Archives: Macy’s

California expecting more affluent Chinese shoppers

Chinese shoppers - Luxury Hotels of AmericaCalifornia’s No. 1 market for overseas visitors is China, said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, a non-profit geared toward maintaining and developing tourism marketing programs in the state.  She said Chinese tourists spent more than $1.6 billion in 2012, and spending levels are expected to increase, with China’s growing middle class and the easier access to visas for U.S. travel.
“We’re seeing a trajectory on China that is once in a career or lifetime,” Beteta said.
And it’s that growth that many tourist attractions and venues want to capture in sales.
Beteta’s non-profit hosted a forum at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena on Wednesday, where more than 460 people gathered to discuss tourism issues, including how to better cater to Chinese travelers.
The tourists are coming from large metropolitan Chinese cities like Shanghai and Beijing, as well as second-tier cities like Qingdao, Hangzhou or Chengdu.
Reports  show a growing interest from affluent Chinese nationals to invest in American real estate, business and send their children to the U.S. for study. Additionally, Chinese millionaires tend to be on the younger side. The average age of a millionaire in China is around 37, compared to 57 in the U.S.
One key factor is also how much money tourists from China spend – an average $170 a day in L.A., which compares with tourists from other locales spending an average $163 in L.A.

But how to convince affluent Chinese tourists to choose a U.S. destination versus another? Chinese travelers have their secret weapon in their iPad. Several digital travel magazines entirely in Chinese mandarin are now published for the famous Apple tablet, and have a tremendous impact on how Chinese tourists plan their trip to America. Publications like Luxury Hotels of America, Niuyue Mag, or the Shanghai Travelers’ Club have gained tens of thousands of new readers over the last year. According to Sam Wang, a Shanghai businessman traveling three to four times a year to the U.S. “I read Luxury Hotels of America before choosing a hotel because they have a high quality editorial content about hotels that I can’t find in regular travel websites or booking engines in China.” He also said ” I want the top hotels where American famous people go, not the hotels for tourists that are advertised by cheap travel agencies”.
Businesses are hoping to give tourists more reasons to come to their attractions by pulling out all the stops. Hotels like the Hilton are offering Chinese breakfast, with dishes that include rice porridge. And stores like Macy’s are offering a 10 percent discount that can be used on some luxury brands.
Gervois magazine - The new travel magazine for millennials travelers in the United States“We’ve done a number of promotions to make it very easy and appealing for the consumers to shop at Macy’s,” said Brian Chuan, director of tourism marketing and development at Macy’s. “We have the products that they want. We carry all the American designer brands that they are looking for.”
He said Chinese tourists spend the most money at Macy’s compared to any other international group. Macy’s tracks the sales by how much the tourists spend on their international credit cards. He said it’s cheaper for Chinese tourists to buy the American brands here, because in some cases it might cost three times more in China.
“We see them leaving with an extra luggage filled with things they want to bring home,” Chuan said.
Chuan also said Macy’s accepts the China UnionPay card, which is a payment card associated with network of banks in China. That makes it convenient for shoppers who don’t want to pay in all cash.

Spending from international visitors make up just 3 percent of Macy’s overall sales at its 800 stores nationwide, Chuan said. But he pointed out that at some locations, spending from international tourists could make up 20 to 50 percent of a store’s total sales, he said.
Chuan travels to China to market Macy’s to groups such as tour operators and banks. Macy’s doesn’t have any locations in China, but Chuan said people there are familiar with the brand.
Macy’s has 13 stores with visitor centers, that allows customers to check in their bags. Centers in Southern California include one in San Diego and Downtown L.A., for its close proximity to the convention center and Staples Center. At key stores, Macy’s may have Mandarin speaking staff.
It appears to be working. Just one day last week in New York, buses dropped off about 1,500 Chinese travelers at the Macy’s, he said.

Source: Southern California Public Radio / W. Lee

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New York welcomes Chinese tourists (and their dollars…)

According to First Financial Daily, a tour group of more than a thousand Chinese tourists spent the Lunar New Year (Spring Festival) in New York. These tourists spent $6,000  dollars on average in U.S. during this trip.

The tour group was warmly welcomed in New York City. In front of Macy’s Department Store on New York’s 34th Avenue, the largest department store in the United States, hosted the largest ever tourist group from China. The group consisted of 1,000 Chinese from Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities. To welcome the “thousand-person” tourist group, Macy’s invited a lion dance performance group and gave each Chinese visitor a special “international coupon” and small gift.

The Empire State Building closed to the public during 8 pm to 10 pm on February 16 to let this Chinese tour group enjoy a special tour. That night, Peng Keyu, the Chinese Consul General in New York lit color lights in the traditional Chinese colors red and yellow on the top floor of the Empire State Building, adding festive atmosphere to the night sky in New York.

The vice president of Macy’s expressed his hope that more Chinese could come and visit the U.S. to go shopping. American stores have become increasingly interested in Chinese tourist groups because of their strong purchasing power.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, each traveler from China spent an average of $6,000 during his or her 8-10 day visit in the United States, 50 percent more than that of tourists from other countries spent during the same period. The “thousand-person” tourist group will contribute 6 million U.S. dollars to the U.S. economy. Chinese tourists have really brought vigor to the U.S. east coast business which is quite depressed in recent two years.

This tour group was jointly organized by NYC & Company, the U.S. Continental Airlines and several travel agencies in China and the U.S.

With many famous buildings and museums, New York has become the first choice for Chinese tourists traveling to U.S. cities. Among all Chinese tourists travel to the United States, 44 percent chose New York as a destination. In order to attract more Chinese tourists, NYC & Company has opened an office in Shanghai. According to Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus, the famous Shanghai  PR agency  for affluent Chinese international travelers “Macy’s has a very smart strategy to attract affluent Chinese shoppers. The new generation of Chinese outbound travelers prefers to travel to NYC for their shopping, rather than to buy in Shanghai stores, with higher prices and not a wide range of products”

George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company said their staff at the office in Shanghai are always asked about the shooting location of TV drama Sex and the City by tourists preparing to visit the United States. “It is not impossible to organize a Sex and the City tour in New York conducted in Chinese.”

NYC & Company data show that in 2008 there were 9.5 million foreign tourists who visited New York City, among which 257,000 were Japanese tourists, more than the total number of visitors from Chinese mainland and Hong Kong (218,000). But in terms of per capita consumption, the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong tourists spent $2,148 in New York, about $400 more than Japanese tourists.

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