PBN, September 19, 2012
Hawaii’s tourism industry can look forward toPBN: China’s ‘Super Golden Week’ could mean gold for Honolulu retailers a potential increase in business from Chinese visitors beginning Sept. 30 as travelers from China take advantage of the extended holiday period that happens only once per decade — the convergence of Chinese National Day and Mid-Autumn Lunar Festival.
According to Nihao Media, travel to most American cities from China is booked for this period known as “Super Golden Week” and that in the United States, most Chinese visitors stay and spend their money shopping in Honolulu, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Chinese visitors in Honolulu spend more per person per day than visitors from any other market, a projected 2012 average of $396, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. They’ve also begun staying in Honolulu for longer periods of time, making it a destination of choice rather than a stopover to or from the Mainland.
The biggest beneficiaries of the Super Golden Week will likely be luxury retailers, according to Catherine Lin, editor in chief of Nihao America, a magazine for wealthy Chinese tourists. Nihao Media research shows that wealthy Chinese visitors to the U.S. spend close to $2,500 on shopping per person per day.
Lin says that some can pay for their trip with the savings in shopping, since luxury items cost 30 to 40 percent less in the U.S. than in China.
The key for Honolulu retailers to cash in will be to have in-store staff members that speak Mandarin, accept China Union Pay debit and credit cards in their stores and to market to customers in a culturally-friendly manner, Lin recommends.