Hundreds of millions of Chinese people head out of their native country for Spring Festival and prepared to spend a lot of money along the way. CCTV America’s Sean Callebs filed this report from Washington, D.C.
Businesses around the world cashing in on Spring FestivalHundreds of millions of Chinese people head out of their native country for Spring Festival and prepared to spend a lot of money along the way. CCTV America's Sean Callebs filed this report from Washington, D.C.
A growing number of nations are opening their doors to tourists for the Lunar New Year Spring Festival. Their hope is that Chinese tourists visit and spend their money abroad.
It was estimated that Chinese vacationers last year spent $129 billion overseas, about one-tenth of that spent in the U.S.
“They are bug buyers. They are purchasing our products, especially electronic products and luxury goods,” Tourism Professor Joy Huang of the University of Illinois said. “It’s not only hotels, destination, airline companies and travel agents, but also retailers are benefiting from them.”
Last year, more than 128,000 Chinese vacationers visited Chicago, the largest source of international tourists. One Macy’s store in Washington, D.C. said its Visitors’ Center is paying off, with overall spending by Chinese tourists up more than 20 percent form last year.
Traditionally, Chinese workers have poured out of cities like Beijing to spend time with family. However, more and more are booking destinations abroad. It is easier to visit the United States, for instance, due to recent easing of visa requirements.
“Currently, the cost of domestic tours is almost equal to that of overseas tours,” Belgium tour guide Jiang Zhijian said. “Many people prefer to travel abroad, especially during the Spring Festival.”
Some estimates indicate as many as 250 million Chinese could travel overseas. That is roughly the populations of Russia and Mexico combined. They are being welcomed in Europe, where they are finding an attractive exchange rate on the Euro.
“I don’t think European countries are able to compete with U.S. We are still different,” Professor Huang said. “People coming to the U.S. are going to totally get the American experience, which they think is the most powerful and wealthy country in the world.”
Evan Saunders of Attract China discusses allure of Spring Festival
CCTV America interviewed Evan Saunders for more insight into American companies’ effort to lure Chinese visitors during Lunar New Year. Saunders started a company nearly four years ago called Attract China.