The Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine now published monthly

Shanghai Travelers' Club Fall 2014 CoverPublished by China Elite Focus Magazines LLC (New York City), the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine has been launched in 2012 as a quarterly magazine in Chinese Mandarin language, featuring a sophisticated content about luxury hotels, lifestyle, private aviation and profiles of famous entrepreneurs.
Considered to be one of the finest luxury travel publications, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine has been a leader in introducing a vision of understated luxury travel for the new generation of high net worth Chinese world travelers.

Read and trusted by 50,000 Chinese frequent travelers, this magazine is considered by its readers as a trusted and independent voice, publishing stories of uncompromising quality about the finest international travel experiences.

Starting with the April 2015 issue, published on March 20, 2015, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club becomes a monthly publication.

“Going from quarterly to monthly is an amazing achievement for our editorial team” said Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus Magazines and Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine. “We have been working on this project for six months, due to the success of the magazine and the constant demands from our readers to have more content. We had to expand our editorial team at our Shanghai office, under the direction of Elaine Ke, our Senior Travel Editor” added Pierre Gervois.

With an office in Shanghai and in New York City, the now monthly Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine will consolidate its position as a leading travel & lifestyle media, targeting the world’s most affluent consumers.

New 10-year visa for Chinese visitors in the U.S. will boost America’s travel and tourism sectors

A new visa extension for US and Chinese citizens is expected to boost US tourism and is being looked upon as a positive step in relations between the two super powers.

US President Barack Obama announced on Monday in Beijing that the US and China had agreed to a reciprocal 10-year visa policy for tourists and businessmen. Speaking during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Obama said the move would “benefit everyone”.

It will allow citizens of each country to travel between the two countries for up to 10 years on a single visa, putting China on level footing with other major trade partners like Brazil and several European countries. Travelers and students can currently receive one-year visas. Students will also now be able to obtain five-year visas. The visa extensions will start on Wednesday.

The change is expected to be a boon for the US economy, creating up to 440,000 American jobs by 2021 because increased tourism and business spurred by visits from more than 7 million Chinese would generate nearly $85 billion in revenue, according to a White House estimate.

Gervois magazine - The new travel magazine for millennials travelers in the United StatesLast year 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the US, contributing $21.1 billion to the economy and supporting more than 109,000 American jobs, according to a White House estimate.

The tourism industry accounted for 2.8 percent of US GDP and nearly 70 million international tourists spent $166 billion in the US in 2012, according to the US Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.

“Where this will make the most impact is on the repeat traveler to the US from China,” said Evan Saunders, CEO of Attract China, a Boston and Beijing consultant that helps US businesses attract Chinese tourists.

He said many Chinese visitors who want to make multiple visits to the US won’t have to go through what can be a time-consuming process of renewing a visa every year.

“By 2018, Chinese tourists are expected to be the top overseas traveler to the US,” Saunders told China Daily.

What do US businesses have to do to take advantage of the projected influx of tourists?

“US businesses need to utilize the Internet and social media to engage the Chinese consumer,” said Saunders. “And they need to do it about six months before the Chinese tourist departs for the US.”Gervois Rating Banner 01

In 2012, Obama issued an executive order to ease the issuance of visas to visiting Chinese and to speed up the visa request process at China’s US consulates.

“This convinced hundreds of thousands of Chinese visitors to choose the US as a leisure and shopping destination and knowing that an average Chinese visitor to the US spends an average of $7,000 per trip, the impact on the US economy could be measured in additional billions,” said Pierre Gervois, CEO and publisher of China Elite Focus Magazines.

The visa extension will bring explosive growth to the tourism industry, said Ralph Zhu, marketing director of US International Trip, a California-based travel agency which expects 300,000 customers from China this year.

“The biggest growth may come from Chinese students studying in the US,” he said, “A student may spend three or four years in the United States. Under the new visa policy, their family and friends won’t worry about renewing their visas and therefore are more likely to visit them every year.”

The Chinese account for about 28 percent of the foreign students studying in the US according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Door report.

The basic visa processing fee will remain the same, according to the US State Department.

Obama arrived in Beijing earlier for a week-long trip to the region and the APEC summit. Later he is scheduled for a state visit with Xi.

“The fact that President Obama announced these changes with what he termed the strong approval of Chinese President Xi Jinping at a major multi-lateral event like the APEC summit is a positive step,” Kenneth Lieberthal, senior fellow in foreign policy at the Washington-based Brookings Institution,told China Daily.

However, Lieberthal said the agreement’s effect on the relationship between the two super powers will probably be muted.

“It’s a huge and complicated relationship. Still it does suggest that both sides want to accomplish some positive things. The new visa requirements will provide a boost to travel and it will increase interaction between the two countries. That is always a good thing,” he said.

Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to this report.

Article by PAUL WELITZKIN, China Daily USA, New York

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Chinese middle class tourists redefine the shape of international tourism

Chinese Middle class tourists - China Elite FocusWen Zhong, a 28-year-old from Shanghai has already been to France and the Netherlands . He is now flying from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to his final stop, Finland, where he hopes to see the Northern Lights (“very exclusive”). Mr Wen is typical of a new wave of Chinese tourists: young, affluent and travelling independently, rather than on a “20-cities-in ten-days” bus tour like those that brought his predecessors. Such tours still appeal to most Chinese tourists on their first trip further afield than Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. But a third are now organising their own travel, spending more and staying longer in each of their destinations.
Nearly one in ten international tourists worldwide is now Chinese, with 97.3m outward-bound journeys from the country last year, of which around half were for leisure. Chinese tourists spend most in total ($129 billion in 2013, followed by Americans at $86 billion) and per tax-free transaction ($1,130 compared with $494 by Russians). More than 80% say that shopping is vital to their plans, compared with 56% of Middle Eastern tourists and 48% of Russians. They are expected to buy more luxury goods next year while abroad than tourists from all other countries combined.
The dizzying pace of growth is expected to continue. Only around 5% of China’s population now own passports, and most of those who travel go to Hong Kong or Macau. But increased affluence, a trend towards longer holidays, fewer visa conditions and growing numbers of repeat travellers mean that every year more will take foreign trips, and more will venture farther. By 2020 the number of foreign trips made from China will double, predicts Aaron Fischer of CLSA, an investment firm, and spending by Chinese tourists abroad will triple.

Shops, hotels and other tourist businesses are scrambling to profit from the new arrivals. Schiphol, which has direct flights to seven Chinese cities, hands out presents in the arrivals hall around Chinese New Year and has a free translation app to point Chinese travellers to its luxury shops, all of which accept Chinese currency and Union Pay (China’s main credit card). Benno Leeser, the boss of Gassan Diamonds, a Dutch jewellery chain with 14 outlets in the airport, travels to China every year to schmooze with the travel agents who bring him his best customers.

New destinations are trying to work out how to get themselves on the itinerary. After direct airline connections, the next step is to make getting a visa easier or, better still, to bring in a visa-waiver scheme. In 2013 Chinese citizens could visit just 44 other countries without a pre-arranged visa; Taiwanese citizens could visit 130, and Americans and Britons over 170. In 2010 the European Tour Operators Association found that a quarter of Chinese who had hoped to visit Europe for leisure had abandoned their plans because of visa delays. Britain, which is outside the European Schengen free-travel area, requires its own visa—the main reason it gets just a ninth of the Chinese tourists France does.
America has started to interview Chinese visa-applicants online and allows them to pick up their visas at any of 900 bank branches, rather than the American embassy. It saw a 22% increase in Chinese visitors last year. But places with visa-waiver schemes, like the Maldives, are really thriving: last year the number of Chinese visitors to the islands increased by 45% and reached nearly a third of the 1.1m total. A boom in Chinese honeymoons helps. Beach resorts are also popular with “6+1s”—young couples travelling with one child and two sets of parents. Parents and children do adventure activities; grandparents, who are less likely to speak English, go to evening shows and cannot get lost.

The next step is to tailor language, products and services to the Chinese market. Printemps, a shop in Paris, has a dedicated entrance for Chinese tour groups; Harrods in London has 100 Union Pay terminals scattered throughout the store. Both are recruiting Mandarin-speaking staff and have Chinese-language websites and maps. Hotels increase their appeal by offering Chinese television channels, menus with pictures, and congee (Chinese porridge) for breakfast. Such details are seen as a sign of respect.
Appealing to the new Chinese horde means tapping into their love of a good romantic tale, says John Kester of the UN World Tourism Organisation. Thailand saw the number of Chinese visitors triple after a blockbuster film, “Lost in Thailand”, inspired a generation to come and sample Thai beer. Mauritius is hoping that “Five Minutes to Tomorrow”, a romance due out later this year featuring Liu Shishi, a popular actress, and partly filmed on the island, will bring it a similar bonanza.

The new generation of Chinese luxury travelers don’t rely anymore on old fashioned Chinese outbound travel agencies: They prefer to carefully select their destination and hotels with the help of specialized luxury travel magazines, such as the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine of Luxury Hotels of America, both published by the fast growing publishing company China Elite Focus Magazines. “We opened a new office in New York City last year” said Pierre Gervois, the Publisher. “Our editorial team is based in Shanghai, and our sales office is now in the United States, to be closer to our advertisers, mostly luxury brands who want to use our media portfolio to reach directly independent Chinese travelers”
The toughest step is getting noticed by Chinese would-be travellers, says Frank Budde of the Boston Consulting Group and co-author of “Winning the Next Billion Asian Travellers”. Nearly half of China’s population is now online, and two-thirds of those planning to travel use online material when preparing their itinerary. Since they use different search engines and social-media platforms from everywhere else, success largely depends on being blogged about on these platforms. Here, destinations can make their own luck. Tourism New Zealand’s decision to host the fairy-tale wedding of Yao Chen, an actress with 66m followers on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, in Queenstown in 2012 was rewarded with 40m posts and comments on discussion forums, 7,000 news articles—and a surge in interest from Chinese lovebirds.

Source: The Economist