Fri 17 Feb 2012
I have been RACKING my brain over this -
How do you become accessible to emerging tourist markets? —->Brazil, China, and India? Â That’s just the powerhouse economies, and we shouldn’t forget Mexico & South America or other parts of Asia, and Russia. Â I have been watching China fairly close, and although money is there, it sounds like they are price sensitive and no frills. In exploring Emerging Markets, I have found some wonderful insight from the Economist and NPR. Â I am including those links and info at the bottom. So the question is: How do Hotels, and the rest of Travel, connect with these massive economies and new travel markets? Â I assume you could add Bebo, et al to your social initiative, but many places have censors and blocks, or others are hard to penetrate online or off. Â Have fun thinking! GREAT info after the jump
The Below is all distilled (copied) from the Economist articles…. it’s not my words again until the last couple sentences, which should be pretty clear. But I just honed in on what I felt was really relevant, but I encourage EVERYBODY to read the articles (and get the Economist, it’sÂ indispensable).
Chinese people often spend as much as 8% of their annual discretionary income on a single trip, far more than people in other emerging markets, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). And the market is growing fast. BCG expects the number of Chinese who have ever rented a hotel room to triple in the next decade. Home Inns, a budget hotel chain which caters to the new army of travelling businessmen as well as to domestic tourists, has grown from one hotel in 2004 to nearly 1,000 today. It plans thousands more.
For now, most travellers use local bricks-and-mortar travel agents. Only 14% of Chinaâ€™s 500m internet users have visited a travel website, according to Douglas Quinby of PhoCusWright, a travel consultancy. This is partly because they lack credit cards, or enough money to go anywhere. But it is also because real-world agents woo customers by offering refunds for cancelled trips and generally going the extra mile. That said, the travel industry has gone digital in other countriesâ€”online booking is cheaper and allows easier price comparisonsâ€”so it will surely catch on.
The countryâ€™s $232 billion travel market is mainly domestic and hugely under-developed. A few short decades ago, Chinese citizens could not go anywhere without permission. Now members of the new middle class are eager to explore the far corners of their great nation.
The World Tourism Organisation reckons annual visits abroad from China could rise to 100m within 15 years. And Wang Shan of CContact, a British tourism consultancy, says that 150m Chinese are already affluent enough to take holidays abroad.
**Chinese tour operators are notorious for bargaining down travel and hotel costs. A 2008 study by the European Travel Commission, an industry group, estimates that Chinese tourists reserve more than a third of their holiday budgets for shopping. It is â€œvery difficultâ€, the study laconically concludes, for established European tour operators to compete with rivals whose transport strategy may involve a â€œChinese-speaking waiter driving a minibusâ€. Even Mr Zhou admits that Chinese travellers are â€œhard workâ€, not like the â€œdisciplinedâ€ Japanese. (ED: DULY NOTED)**
“And Wang Shan of CContact, a British tourism consultancy, says that 150m Chinese are already affluent enough to take holidays abroad.” But chinese use traditional storefront travel agents… and traveling to the US isn’t easy yet.
And from our friends at NPR…. this one blew my mind. That market for wine is just getting uncorked. =)
“Trying to solve the China puzzle is the most exciting part of my job right now.”
U.S. wine exports to China grew by 42 percent last year, and similar increases were noted in other Asian nations, according to figures released Thursday by the Wine Institute in San Francisco. It nearly doubled 2010 export numbers as more winemakers are seeking to crack a relatively untapped market.
The Chinese economy has doubled in the past seven years, and low-end estimates say there are 1.5 million millionaires. With a population of 1 billion people in China, Gallagher figures only 18 million of them can afford fine wines.
“That sub-segment grows every year,” Gallagher said. “The long-term opportunity is to get the rest of those billion people. We have our work cut out for us.”
Hey, it’s me again!
Even wine is getting into the act. I think the Willamette Valley should add their hat into that ring. Â Think about how this effects your industry and your business. Â Think about trade and tourism with a country of 1 billion. Â The Markets aren’t just emerging anymore, I am pretty sure they have emerged. Â Now, let’s watch them grow, and see how this new world economy can finally find it’s balance with everyone participating in a reciprocal and even free market. Â Now just to have the US find our balance….. Â what’s a free market? Â For fun, I will end with this Mort Saul bit – “capitalism was great. ask your parents about it”. =)