The 2015 Golden Week (黄金周): what to expect?

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The Golden Week (黄金周) is the name given to a 7-day national holiday in the People’s Republic of China, happening every year around October 1st (changes can occur depending on calendar and weekend days) since 2000. This national holiday commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Year by year, thanks to the expansion of the Chinese middle class, the number of Chinese tourists exponentially grows. 2015 doesn’t make exception, with, however, some changes on the most popular destinations. Approximately 760 million Chinese will get an entire week of public holiday!

 

  • Hong Kong losing popularity amongst Chinese tourists: As per South China Morning Post of last September 23rd, Hong Kong is expecting 15% less Chinese tourists compared to 2014 Golden Week:
    • imageseasier visa application process in many countries, including Europe
    • preference for long holiday (many Chinese citizens have applied for 3 extra days and will enjoy a 11 days vacation, from September 26th till October 7th), which make worthwhile a long flight to Europe
    • Hong Kong is not any more a fancy destination for Chinese mainland residents.
    • However Hong Kong should remain first destination for mainland tourists in 2015, as per China National Tourism Administration (http://en.cnta.gov.cn/News/OverseasOffices/201507/t20150707_720485.shtml)

 

  • Golden week for UK retailers: As per UK retail gazette of Monday September 28th, 2015 Golden week is expected to bring £600m fortune to UK retailers. Increased number of tourists combined to higher spending should lead to a 18% revenue increase compared to last year.  London is becoming more and more popular destination for Chinese shoppers, looking for luxury goods, high-end fashion and British goods. Over 250 000 Chinese tourists are expected. London tourist information, restaurant guide, shopping guide… and increased number of shops accepting Union Pay card, UK retailers are welcoming Chinese shoppers!

 

  • China-investment-by-region-(2015)-by-CBREGolden week for retailers, but not only: Chinese people will travel and consider eventually real estate investment during their stay abroad.
    The situation is perfect for real estate investment abroad: China’s currency devaluation, economic slowdown and stock-market rout. London, New York, Melbourne, Sidney… are some of the destinations.
    The return on investment is expected to be higher than those you can get in China. Residential real estate, but not only: Chinese people are also looking at commercial real estate.

 

 

  • Expansion of UnionPay coverage: UnionPay Chairman Ge Huayong has announced last week his ambition to “be available wherever Chinese tourists go.
    UnionPayCurrently, UnionPay is available in 150 countries, 26 million merchants are accepting UnionPay cards, and 1.9 million ATMs outside of China are accepting withdrawals for UnionPay cardholders. UnionPay is working on extending the coverage as well as introducing new payment ways, such as UnionPay QuickPass (an online payment solution) and mobile payment.

    This is not only a good news for Chinese tourists but also for expatriates living in China and receiving their salaries in RMB: they can spend what they have earned on their Chinese account outside of China! If you would want to check which ATMs are accepting UnionPay cards in your home country or the country you are visiting, check UnionPay website and enter your query: http://www.unionpayintl.com/en/enserviceCenter/enatmQuery

 

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    Still, overcrowded places expected in China: in spite of the increasing number of Chinese people travelling abroad, you can still expect key attractions to be overcrowded during 2015 Golden week. Tour operators strongly recommend foreign tourists not to plan a tour during Chinese Golden week. Places to avoid are:

    • The Forbidden City (Beijing),
    • Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (located at the foot of the second peak of Mount Zijin (Purple Mountain) in Nanjing),
    • West Lake or Hangzhou Xi Hu (Zhejiang province)
    • Jiuzhaigou (Sichuan province)
    • The Great Wall (Beijing)
    • Mount Taishan (Western Shandong)
    • Lijiang (Yunnan)
    • Zhangjiajie (Hunnan)
    • Mountain Emei (Sichuan)
    • Fenghuang Ancient Town (Hunan)

 

Sources:

http://www.engage.sagepay.com/golden-week-2015

http://china-outbound.com/2015/09/28/hong-kong-losing-popularity-as-golden-week-holiday-destination/

http://www.guideinchina.com/travel/detail/id/53.html

http://jingdaily.com/chinas-golden-week-who-stands-to-gain-as-chinese-tourists-fan-the-globe/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-entrepreneurs-seek-investments-abroad-to-avoid-local-obstacles-1440509126

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-chinese-super-rich-are-about-to-flood-the-us-real-estate-market-2015-8

http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/02/news/economy/china-stocks-global-real-estate/

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I am living in China since 2009 and in Beijing since 2011. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!