California Gets China Ready

By Beverly Sparks
on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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Two words: China Ready

China has a bigger middle class than the entire U.S. population. As such, every day approximately 70,000 Chinese are traveling internationally and represent the fastest growing inbound tourism market. That number is expected to increase to 580,000 by 2014. It’s no wonder that DMOs across the country, and more particularly in California, are getting China Ready.

What will that mean to U.S. hoteliers? Many major U.S. hotel chains are early adaptors at welcoming our Chinese guests. Programming, services and amenities, including in-room signage and breakfast offerings, are already being offered to reflect the comforts of home. A multi-lingual staff and the ability to accept China’s global bankcard, China Pay, are par for the course.

Currently California has a 52% share of the projected 1.1 million Chinese traveling market. That’s a planned growth rate of 897% in 10 years! These California-bound tourists are attracted to Disneyland, the beaches and Hollywood, for starters. Both the LA Tourism & Convention Board and the Anaheim/Orange County Visitors & Convention Bureau have social and marketing programs in place to cater to this audience.

LA has two offices in China—Beijing and Shanghai—and will be launching a new Chinese language website in January with plans for a Chinese language visitors guide this year. Anaheim/OC has partnered with the Orange County Tourism Council to open an office in China and will be participating with the Visit California China Sales Mission in October.

Research has shown that the Chinese traveler stays on average of nine to ten nights with expenditures in the thousands. Experiences and luxury goods head the list. When you combine the long stays and the dollars involved with the sheer number of projected tourists, you can see why the battle cry in Southern California is China! China! China!