THE TRUTH ABOUT CHINA’S “RUDE” TOURISTS

This post was first published at Jing Daily

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHINA’S “RUDE” TOURISTS
BY MICHAEL ZAKKOUR

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about “rude” Chinese tourists, citing numerous high-profile incidents of bad behavior in recent months.

Recent examples, which have sparked a firestorm of commentary in both Chinese and Western media, include a group of snorkelers who caught and ate endangered sea creatures off the Paracel Islands, visitors to North Korea who threw candy at North Korean children as if they were “feeding ducks”, swimmers who took pictures with a dying dolphin, and a teenage boy from Nanjing who scratched graffiti on a 3,000 year-old relic while touring Egypt with his parents.

In response, Chinese officials are making a concerted effort to improve the behavior of Chinese travelers abroad, issuing a list of guidelines that include no spitting, cutting lines, or taking your shoes and socks off in public. Vice Premier Wang Yang has stated that “improving the civilized quality of the citizens” is necessary for “building a good image” for the country.

Like many commentators, I am not convinced that Chinese travelers on the whole behave worse than other groups when abroad. We Yanks, along with our German and Israeli friends, for instance, have long suffered poor reputations when traveling. My personal worst embarrassment for a compatriot happened in Rome, where I witnessed a loud American in a cowboy hat, black socks, and sandals look down at the Roman Forum and say to his wife, “more ruins—if you’ve seen one ruin, you’ve seen them all.”

The question of whether the actions the Chinese government is addressing are actually a widespread problem have already been discussed at length, to no avail. To me, there is a deeper lesson to be learned from the story: one which luxury brands, retailers, and service providers from around the world can engage in and capitalize on.

Quite simply, the lesson is: while the media likes to sensationalize a few isolated incidents of bad behavior, there are obviously far more Chinese travelers interested in learning about how to have the most sophisticated experience they can find. With tens of millions of newly wealthy travelers leaving the country every year, luxury companies have the opportunity to expose China’s new world citizens to local foods, beverages, fashion, hospitality, and experiences they may not have had.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of Chinese travelers increased from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. At Tompkins Intl., we estimate that number to grow to more than 100 million within 2 years.

It is important to remember though that many of these Chinese business and pleasure travelers have little or no experience in international travel. This may lead to cultural misunderstandings, but it also an opportunity for luxury companies to play a vital role in educating travelers about the best their brands have to offer.

Any traveler is curious about the world and wants to see and feel the places they have seen on TV, online, and at the movies, and from UN statistics, Chinese travelers particularly want to spend a lot of money while doing it: in 2005, “China ranked seventh in international tourism expenditure, and has since successively overtaken Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom,” says a UNWTO report. By 2012, “China leaped to first place, surpassing both top spender Germany and second largest spender United States (both close to US$84 billion in 2012).”

These well-heeled travelers have a list of favorite destinations including New York, Paris, Milan, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Los Angeles.

Chinese travelers from the emerging middle, upper, and wealthy classes are still very much in a phase of development where they are seeking instruction and cues on how to build their sense of identity and their “personal brand”, with tastes informed by a mix of  Chinese and Western cultures, aesthetics, and lifestyles.

Conspicuous consumption among Chinese tourists is increasingly losing ground to a new desire for sophisticated travel experiences. These consumers certainly don’t fit the stereotype of the Chinese tourist lined up outside a luxury goods store: rather, they want to impart to others their newly found sophistication by the wines they drink, the new foods they have tried, the hotels and resorts they stay at, the niche brands they wear, and the special experiences they have engaged in.

Luxury companies can prosper by not only selling products, but by educating these consumers about the particular lifestyle their brands represent.

With close to 60 percent of Chinese luxury purchases taking place outside the mainland, smart luxury companies can and should take the opportunity to educate Chinese consumers on how to build an identity through their experiences in foreign travel and thus retain brand loyalty when they return home from their travels. Some examples include:

  • The cosmetics retailer who can hold a special private event for Chinese luxury travelers to educate them on products, “looks”, how to shop smartly for cosmetics around the world, and how they can keep up the look at home by obtaining the same product locally.
  • The hotel which holds special events or provides pre- or in-trip collateral material for Chinese travelers on food, wine, and local attractions while subtly including “live, look, and act like a local” messaging into their programs. These extra touches may be the deciding factor for Chinese travelers choosing one five-star location over another, both domestically and abroad.
  • The high-end fishing and wildlife excursion company in Alaska which gives Chinese consumers a sense of place and custom by providing general and culture-specific lessons about the ecology and landscape the traveler is in, in addition to providing a luxury lodge, great meals, and superb fishing.

Chinese travelers carry the same needs and desires with them on the road that they have at home. Luxury companies can build their brand, sell products and services, and retain customers by tapping into these needs and desires and rounding out the travel experience with life experience and an education in global sophistication.

夏威夷海軍 慶祝中途島大捷70周年

夏威夷海軍當局近日為慶祝二次世界大戰太平洋戰區最關鍵一役的「中途島戰役」(Battle of Midway)70周年,舉行一系列紀念活動。太平洋艦隊司令哈尼(Cecil Haney)4日並率隊飛至中途島憑弔戰場。

發生在1942年6月4日至7日的中途島戰役,是二次大戰太平洋戰區的轉捩點。日本在偷襲珍珠港事件後六個月,派遣四艘航空母艦攻擊中途島環礁,企圖一舉殲滅美國太平洋艦隊的殘餘兵力。

兵力居於劣勢的美軍,因海軍Station Hypo情報站密碼專家破譯日本電文,而讓當時太平洋艦隊司令尼米茲(Chester Nimitz)及早掌握敵軍意圖,最後在其指揮下全力反擊,首日即創下擊沉日本四艘航母的重大戰果;美軍僅損失一艘航母。

哈尼4日由夏威夷歐胡島駐地飛至1300哩以外的中途島,與中途島戰役和戰後曾駐防該島的老兵,以及目前維護該島生態環境的聯邦漁獵局人員,一同舉行紀念儀式。

海軍艦隊網路指揮部指揮官羅傑

日本啟動超輕涼裝活動 公務員穿夏威夷裝、涼鞋上班

為了因應夏季的用電高峰,日本環境省本月開始啟動「超清涼裝」活動,呼籲政府各級部門公務員穿短袖休閒襯衫、T-Shirt與涼鞋上班。


日本政府「超清涼裝」活動始於2005年,用意是穿著較清涼的服飾減少夏季對空調的依賴,以達到減緩全球暖化的效果。以往活動開始日期為每年6月1日,今年的「超清涼裝」活動將持續到10月底。

身為主管機關,日本環境省帶頭示範夏季節約用電,除將冷氣設定在28度,以避免浪費電力外,還示範「超清涼裝」活動穿著,男性示範員工身穿夏威夷衫或馬球 (Polo)衫;環境省表示,允許員工穿素色T-Shirt、沒破洞的牛仔褲與涼鞋,但是禁止穿汗衫、短褲、人字拖等。不過大部分環境省員工選擇穿著素色 T-Shirt與西裝褲上班辦公。

由於受到去年福島核災後,全國核電廠發電機組關機檢修的影響,日本政府部分部門已連續兩年於5月起先行啟動「超清涼商務裝」活動,鼓勵公務員不穿西裝、不打領帶,穿長袖或短袖襯衫

韓陸戰隊將參加美環太軍演

韓陸戰隊將參加美環太軍演

韓國海軍陸戰隊於6月10日至8月3日,將會參加在夏威夷周邊海域舉行的環太平洋聯合軍事演習。

韓聯社報道,韓參演海軍陸戰隊官兵1日已從浦項出發,通過美國海兵隊的直升機,搭乘在海上待命的美國登陸艦前往夏威夷,參加為期55天的訓練。

報 道稱,6月26日以前,韓海軍陸戰隊官兵將和美國海兵隊將士一起在夏威夷瓦胡島的海軍陸戰隊訓練場進行搜索、偵查和機械化戰鬥、防禦戰鬥、穩定作戰等城市 作戰訓練和密林作戰訓練。此後,從6月27日到7月7日,韓海軍陸戰隊官兵將與美國、新西蘭、墨西哥海軍陸戰隊一起組成一個中隊,進行戰術訓練和城市作 戰、逃離直升機和強擊登陸裝甲車的訓練。

報道還稱,參加此次訓練的澳洲、加拿大、印尼、馬來西亞和湯加海軍陸戰隊將和美國編成另外一個中隊,在同一個場所進行相同的訓練。多國作戰部隊將在2000多米高地進行宿營和野外用餐,到7月23日進行戰術訓練。7月24到8月2日進行環太平洋聯合軍演。

 

美國2攝影師 拍出夏威夷彩色水晶海浪




美國2名攝影師在夏威夷,以普通的防水相機,捕捉到海浪捲至的瞬間,場面宏偉壯觀。

他們表示,要拍到這些美麗的海浪照片,只需無限耐性,花時間在海中等待海浪湧至,看準時機按下快門。

除此以外,他們也喜歡拍攝活火山,並希望透過拍照,以讚頌大自然的美。