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BEIJING - Chinese consumers are picking up smarter ways of overseas spending during this year"s Spring Festival holiday, encouraging tourism industries of various countries to upgrade their services to suit China"s new consumer demands.
Formerly, "shopping spree" became synonymous with Chinese tourist groups spending money in shopping malls around the world. However, this stereotype is changing.
This year, many Chinese tourists have been changing their shopping habits, and their consumer behavior has become more diversified and rational and features detailed planning.
"Shopping is still an integral part of the outbound travel of Chinese people, but now more people go shopping rationally based on their individual needs," said Zhang Yuhong, general manager of a travel agency in Germany.
"In the past, health care products and sightseeing tours were major expenditures for Chinese tourists. Nowadays, spending in the fields of service and culture such as children"s study tours, arts appreciation and collection as well as health care, are emerging as the new consumption mainstream of high-end groups," said Li Tian, who runs a Melbourne-based migration and education consulting company in Australia.
Li"s observation regarding Chinese overseas consumption also appears to hold true for European tourism markets.
With its unique tourism resources including cultural relics, vibrant modern culture and historically-rich university communities, Britain has attracted more and more Chinese tourists in recent years.
During this year"s Spring Festival, many Chinese visitors are visiting London"s major museums and studying at prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
Zhou Bochao, CEO of a British travel company, said museum education programs in many European countries including Britain are greatly appreciated by Chinese visitors. In addition, art investment, education and advanced medical services are also attracting more and more attention among Chinese visitors.
To celebrate this year"s Spring Festival, a Chinese couple, Wu Yanhua and Zhang He, chose to travel in Brazil for half a month.
Prior to their departure, the couple booked popular hotels, selected a Chinese-language guide service and downloaded Brazil"s popular tourism applications.
The couple are not alone in choosing a smaller-scale but more detailed overseas tour. Li said the new consumption pattern will lead to higher-level competition in the industry. Global tourism service providers need to compete for ideas and services to improve their tourism experience and earn "smart money."
Nowadays, the new characteristics and trends of overseas Chinese tourism are pressing countries and businesses around the world to make adjustments in their efforts to excel in marketing, technology application and tourism services.
The Brazilian government is now granting Chinese visitors tourist visas that are valid for five years, with a 90-day stay period, renewable for up to another 90 days.
What"s more, the Ministry of Tourism has accredited another 316 Brazilian travel agencies, which are now able to receive Chinese tourists in the country.
The introduction of visa facilities shows that the Brazilian government pays great attention to China"s market and wants more Chinese tourists to visit the country, said Ronnie Lins, director of the China-Brazil Center for Research and Business.
Merchants also understand how important the Chinese consumers are, and are thus adapting themselves to the new behavior of Chinese consumers.
Value Retail is the developer and operator of a boutique collection of nine luxury outlet shopping villages in Europe, which include Bicester Village, the first and most successful one located in Britain, with 6.8 million consumers coming from all over the world each year. Among them, Chinese consumers are Bicester Village"s highest spenders.
Sadie Tew, senior retail director of Value Retail, told Xinhua that more and more brands in the shopping village accept China"s cashless payments including Alipay and WeChat Pay, and consumers can also use Alipay or WeChat Pay to purchase gift cards in the visitor center.
In the southern French city of Marseille, local tourism authorities have explored various short-distance cruise routes and are offering experience tours such as making soap by hand to meet the Chinese tourists" demands.
The city also developed a Chinese-language metro application and opened an official account on China"s social media, which gives tourists information about the city.
Chinese-language services are also vigorously promoted in the Austrian tourism market. Chinese language services are available at most local museums and those who can speak Chinese can easily get jobs in shopping malls. Chinese characters even appear on signs at some tourists destinations.personalised rubber bracelets uk custom silicone wristbands fabric wristbands design your own wristband wellies and wristbands 2017