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China, Japan, and Korea held the annual Trilateral Tourism Ministers’ Meeting at Pyeongchang, Korea, two days ago. This post contains the highlights, as reported by Arirang and YONHAP News.

The ministers agreed to develop 10 “golden tour routes” running through the three countries, and report the outcome of the project at next year’s meeting in Japan.

The three countries also agreed to strengthen cooperation to minimize the negative effects that natural disasters, terrorism and diseases have on tourism, while jointly developing special tourism promotion programs and a crisis management manual.

source:
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2011/05/29/51/0502000000AEN20110529002700315F.HTML

The ministers agreed to work towards establishing the “Tourism Vision 2020” plan, a blueprint for opening up an era of major tourism exchange between the three East Asian countries in the year 2020.

They also vowed to monitor unfair activities like selling low-cost dumping package products.

China and Japan’s tourism ministers pledged support Pyeongchang’s plan for its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

source: http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=116466&code=Ne2&category=2

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A new strategy for success in doing business in China, a land where deals are notoriously slow, is highly relevant to the tourism business. Ottawa’s major newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen reports.

With the Beijing International Tourism Expo 2011 set for June 15 to 18, the Ottawa mayor and city representatives are making up a delegation in the hopes of bringing Chinese tourists and their cash to the city. Their proposals include a “marquee,” 400- to 500-room hotel to support the influx of visitors.

But what kind of clout does the mayor of a capital city have in China?

Intriguingly, a great deal.

The Citizen reports that the mayor of Beijing “is one of the top 10 most powerful officials in China,”  revealing the high esteem some countries confer upon mayors. On concurrent trips to one such country, the mayor of Ottawa was able to score meetings with some high officials that the provincial premier couldn’t get.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Watson+China+promote+tourism+Ottawa/4811726/story.html#ixzz1NLBrtoHu
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mayor+status+opens+doors+China/4823578/story.html

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BRUSSELS – Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Director of greenearth.travel, said that it was time to to look for more tourists from China to boost African economies, following the strengthening trade patterns between the regions and the emergence of China as a leading global tourism player.

MORE INFORMATION

The central point of Lipman’s remarks, addressing the IIPT Summit in Zambia and the ITC Summit in Turkey, was the huge potential for the world’s least developed counties (LDC) (particularly in Africa) to transition out of poverty through green growth – the 4 decade strategic transition to a renewable energy-based world with temperature increases limited to 2 degrees; a coherent response to increasing global socio-economic, poverty, and climate challenges, with population growth and resources decrease and while ensuring conservation to maintain species balance, inclusion to maintain human balance, and digitalization to manage the low carbon shift. He identified the massive potential dividends ahead for LDC’s through travelism (the travel and tourism supply and demand chains) as a universal services export, a producer of wealth and jobs, a catalyst for other economic activity, and a key industry to increase human understanding and happiness.

Speech at www.greenearth.travel.

Read the full article at www.eturbonews.com.

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Dr. Adam Wu, chief operating officer of China Business Network, attended last week’s Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, visiting a region where the Chinese government has already made several substantial direct investments and plans more.

Wu said Chinese tend to travel in groups and like to sightsee and visit multiple destinations. He offered some the following tips to those seeking to cater to the Chinese market:

• Convey your message in Chinese. While 60 million Chinese earn an annual income over 20,000 USD, only 10 million people can speak English.


• It’s best to market online (incorporate your site onto World Travel Online). Most Chinese travel professionals depend on the Internet to research and book travel. Plus, there are more Internet users in China (457 million) than the U.S. has in total population (311 million).

• The Chinese population doesn’t generally have access to the Internet accessed by the rest of the world, so marketers need to use the China Wide Web, the country’s own Internet.

• Marketers need to educate Chinese operators on (unfamiliar to them) local brands.

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Sources:

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/5534/Chinese-supply-demand-making-waves-in-Caribbean
http://lhonline.com/news/china_caribbean_investment_development_construction_tourism_marketing_0516/

The US Embassy in Shanghai has set up a pilot project for group visa interviews for Chinese nationals at the end of last year – a move that will shorten US Visa application times.

This is in response to Chinese travel agencies’ call for a simplified visa process and a larger quota in order to match the growing demand of Chinese travellers.

A survey by the United States Travel Association (USTA) of 1,500 travellers from Brazil, China and India suggests that an overwhelming majority of travellers find the US a tough place to visit. An astounding 94% of Brazilian travellers said they found it “somewhat difficult”, “very difficult” or “nearly impossible” to travel to the US. Roughly 80% of Chinese and Indian travellers echoed those sentiments.

“Increasing travel to the United States is the most effective form of economic stimulus supporting communities, injecting billions into the US economy and creating millions of new American jobs,” the report says. “Recapturing America’s historic share of worldwide overseas travel would create up to an additional 1.3 million US jobs by 2020 compared with 2010 and produce $859 billion in cumulative additional economic output.”

The average Chinese tourist spends $7,000 in the US – well above the 2009 average of $2,580 per overseas tourist. Of course, faced with onerous visa restrictions, that tourist is in the minority to begin with: Of the 30 million Chinese who traveled abroad in 2009, merely 735,000 came to the United States.

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Read more:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/237219/us-urged-to-ease-visas-for-three-giant-markets
http://www.visabureau.com/america/news/19-01-2011/us-embassy-in-china-seeks-to-streamline-us-visa-process.aspx
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/05/14/2011-05-14_roll_out_the_welcome_mat.html#ixzz1MZPI6eIJ

Japan recieved two Chinese tour groups in Kyushu and Kansai regions Friday, the first group travel to Japan from Chinese mainland since the March 11 catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. These familiarization trips are part of Japan’s active efforts to restore its tourism industry.

Hiroshi Mizohata Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) traveled to China and South Korea in early April, meeting government officials, media and travel agents. The two countries made up about 40 percent of all foreign tourists visiting Japan in 2009 and Chinese tourists are regarded as the biggest-spending among foreign visitors.

The company has sent people to the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong to make sales calls and invite media and travel agencies to visit Okinawa and Hokkaido.

Meanwhile, Shinkansen bullet train services on the disaster-stricken Tohoku Shinkansen line fully resumed Friday, the first day of Japan’s Golden Week holiday season, between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori for the first time in 50-days since the mega earthquake and tsunami.

On the popular Rakuten website’s travel page, a large number of popular Onsen hotels in the Tohoku region are shown to be fully booked during the Golden Week holiday.

Read the full Xinhua news article here.

The Wall Street Journal reports that spending of Chinese tourists increased by 64% last year, over 2009. Spending for China thus broke into the $1 billion category in 2009, along with Australia and France (but the latter two countries’ increases were much less spectacular: up 32% and 6%, respectively).

See the article here.

China’s granting of approved destination status to Canada earlier this year will allow potentially millions of Chinese travellers to more easily visit Alberta.

But it’s not just the majestic Rocky Mountains that are putting the province on the global map. Alberta’s petroleum industry and its oilsands are making Wild Rose Country world famous and drawing big-spending business clientele, according to tourism operators.

Find out more here.

Sites such as eLong let Chinese travelers book air tickets online. How will the online booking market be affected by Google’s recent purchase of the software company ITA?

eLong is Expedia’s exclusive affiliate in Asia (http://www.elong.net/aboutus/index.html), and in terms of shares and votes, is owned by Expedia. In addition to Expedia’s majority control of eLong, an online travel agency (OTA), Expedia’s TripAdvisor unit operates two media brands in China, daodao.com and kuxun.cn. (http://www.tnooz.com/2010/06/01/news/expedia- increases-its-stake-in-china-online-travel-agency- elong/)

“We expect limited financial impact of Google-ITA on Expedia, given only about 12 percent of Expedia’s revenue is from air and with ITA, Google will also become a source of qualified leads for OTAs (similar to Kayak),” said Naved Khan, an analyst at the brokerage firm Jefferies & Co.

In terms of current exposure to Google search, Khan said his analysis using comScore data shows that search phrases on Google containing four common search terms related to air bookings — Air, Air tickets, Flight and Flight Tickets — generated 1 million clicks to Expedia sites in Feb, representing less than 5 percent of total clicks to Expedia from Google search. (http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/132765/20110411/exped ia-online-travel-agencies-google-ita-software-nasdaq- stock-market-buy-rating-expedia-com- hotels.htm#ixzz1K1h3Bms0)



Dr Kim Hames, Australia’s Tourism Minister since December 2010, is shifting the focus of Australia’s inbound tourism promotion from the traditional markets of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia to the new market of China.

“I’m going to concentrate a lot more on China, trying to bring Chinese visitors here,” he says, adding that he is examining what sort of holiday packages and airline arrangements are needed to bring in greater numbers of Chinese visitors.

“I’ve been talking to the Chinese and they want to go and buy diamonds at Argyle, see where the iron ore comes from, so we’re going to look at how we can better promote that industrial tourism as well.”

Dr Hames will visit China in April and May to lobby officials for airlines to come to Western Australia, hoping to capitalise on the new agreement between the governments of both countries to expand by 8000 a week the number of seats on flights between the two countries.

“I’ll be talking to airlines about giving discounted fares from Western Australia if they come to WA first. We’re going to meet those airlines in the near future – specifically going to China just to meet three airlines.”

His pitch? Convenience, for one.

“We’re in the same time zone so people without having to go across time zones can duck down here where there are lots of things to see, as well as a community that’s welcoming and open with fantastic beaches. Or use it as the gateway to the rest of Australia,” Dr Hames says.

pink diamond ring

Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/9037130/tourism-minister-reels-them-in/

China outbound tweeds

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Michael Kaltenhauser

Founder and director of Astronaut, a marketing agency based in Beijing which is specialized on promoting destinations to Chinese outbound tourists

Laura Hine

Online Communications Assistant at Astronaut