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    New York Retailers, Hoteliers Add Amenities For Chinese Tourists

    With more Chinese tourists traveling overseas, New York tourism officials expect a "surge" of Chinese arrivals, with NYC & Co. projecting over 220,000 tourist arrivals from mainland China and Hong Kong this summer.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Travel

    NYC & Co. Projects 223,000 Tourists From Greater China Will Arrive In New York This Summer, A Rise Of 20% Over 2009#

    Following the agreement signed between the United States and China two years ago that eased tourist visa restrictions for Chinese tour groups, we've seen the number of U.S.-bound tourists from mainland China swell -- a development that has certainly pleased retailers in popular cities like New York or San Francisco. As Jing Daily noted earlier this year, Chinese tourists have become such a coveted demographic for New York retailers that Macy's held a special event in their honor during Chinese New Year celebrations. Across the city, a number of hoteliers have followed suit by adding amenities such as electric tea kettles, in-house translation services, Chinese-language city guides, bilingual menus, and Chinese-language television channels to cater to this important (and generally free-spending) tourist segment.

    According to a Wall Street Journal article today, with more Chinese tourists traveling overseas, New York tourism officials expect a "surge" of Chinese arrivals, with NYC & Co. projecting over 220,000 tourist arrivals from mainland China and Hong Kong this summer. This would be a 20% rise over last year, when recession-spooked business and leisure travelers cut back. As the article notes, New York-area retailers such as the Woodbury Common outlet mall -- a popular destination for tourists from around the world, but especially those from luxury-mad Asia -- expect a windfall from the increasing number of Chinese tourists, since these visitors often see a trip to Woodbury as a "must."

    From the article:

    Some city hotels have experience in catering to the Chinese. The Mandarin Oriental has long-offered a traditional breakfast of rice congee, soy-poached chicken, steamed pork bun and a boiled egg. But now it is developing Chinese language cards and letters to welcome guests and explain local attractions.



    An in-house translator and complimentary tea kettles and tea in-room for Chinese guests is also in the works. The New York Marriott Marquis also serves a traditional Chinese breakfast in its Encore Restaurant and has Mandarin speakers on staff.



    At the Waldorf Astoria, Stanley Wong, a Cantonese-speaking senior concierge, says more Chinese tourists will be a boost for retail across the region. His affluent clients like shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and often request a trip to the Woodbury Common outlet in Central Valley, N.Y.

    The article goes on to reiterate that the majority of travel from China to New York continues to be business-related, but the key here is that many hoteliers, restauranteurs and tour operators in New York recognize the growing importance and spending power of Chinese tourists and are working today to ensure future tourists will be comfortable. This is critical, because if there's one thing that stands out about Chinese tourist behavior in shopping meccas like New York, Tokyo or Paris, it's that the money that some of them withhold on lavish accommodations or food will instead be spent on shopping -- and lots of it.

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