CHINA TIMES (Taiwan), APPLE DAILY (Hong Kong), DAILY MAIL (UK)
BEIJING - One week after the end of the Golden Week holiday, when more and more of upwardly mobile China travels abroad, the bills are rolling in. And once again, Chinese purchasing power is stunning the world.
During the nine-day-long holiday, which this year encompassed both China’s National Day and the Moon Festival, Chinese tourists and shoppers spent 48 billion RMB ($7.7 billion) abroad, according to estimates of the World Luxury Association, the China Times reported.
The report noted that Chinese holiday-makers using credit cards for overseas consumption has soared 33% in comparison with the same period last year.
Chinese tourists spend most of their spending in Europe, the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Affected by the on-going Diaoyu Islands dispute, travel to the traditionally popular destination, Japan, virtually dried up over the holiday earlier this month.
A source at the Paris Tourist Bureau said that about 150,000 Chinese tourists had visited the city and more than 2.6 billion RMB ($399 million) in total during this period, which represents an average consumption of 17,000 RMB ($2,712) per person.
As for the United States, the China Times report quoted data from Ctrip.com, an online travel agency, that 210,000 Chinese visited the country, two and a half times more than during an ordinary period. It’s estimated that they had contributed 9.3 billion RMB ($1.4 billion) to the American economy.
Two weeks ago, the founder of Zadig & Voltaire, a French fashion retailer, sparked controversy by announcing its new boutique hotel will not be open to Chinese tourists, who apparently are not chic enough to check out his wares, the Daily Mail reported.
Meanwhile, back in China, photos have been circulating on the Internet in China that were taken by passersby in the Galeries Lafayette, one of Paris’ top addresses for branded goods. In the images, we see various Chinese tourists squatting while wolfing down their take-away lunch out of styrofoam boxes just outside the DeBeers’ diamond show room.
While some Chinese were embarrassed by the images, another wrote “Don’t laugh! They’ll empty out the Louis Vuitton counter when they've finished eating!” the Apple Daily reported. Unlike the folk at Zadig & Voltaire, no one bothered the Chinese visitors. In the face of the global recession, even snooty French shopkeepers are not going to push paying customers away.