Chile wants Chi­nese tourists

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA DENG in San­ti­ago, Chile an­drea@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chile may be­come a tourism des­ti­na­tion for wealthy Chi­nese vis­i­tors if bi­lat­eral in­dus­try ties can be fur­ther de­vel­oped, diplo­mats and tourism of­fi­cials said.

Chile is one of the fur­thest coun­tries away from China and the round-trip air fare would re­main as high as $3,000 no mat­ter which flight route Chi­nese tourists take, said Liu Ru­tao, eco­nomic and com­merce ad­viser with China’s Em­bassy in Chile. That au­to­mat­i­cally sets a high bar for the fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the peo­ple who could af­ford the trip.

Liu also noted that the unique char­ac­ter­is­tics of Chile’s ex­tremely di­ver­si­fied nat­u­ral land­scape — thanks, in part, to the coun­try’s dis­tinc­tive geo­graphic span of a wide range of lat­i­tudes — makes Chile a de­sir­able des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple look­ing for adventure and ex­plor­ing na­ture, be­yond just shop­ping and sight­see­ing.

“Th­ese kinds of ex­pe­ri­ences are ex­actly what the wealthy and more de­mand­ing Chi­nese tourists are look­ing for,” Liu said.

Liu shared his anal­y­sis with a 30-mem­ber del­e­ga­tion cur­rently vis­it­ing Pa­cific Al­liance coun­tries on June 5. The del­e­gates, led by the Global Tourism Econ­omy Re­search Cen­tre (GTERC), are Chi­nese busi­ness lead­ers from a wide range of in­dus­tries, mainly tourism.

Since the eco­nomic down­turn of 2008, a lot of real es­tate en­ter­prises in China needed to di­ver­sify their port­fo­lios and ex­pand into other in­dus­tries. Tourism be­came a sound busi­ness choice for many of them, said Wang Ping, chair­woman of the China Cham­ber of Tourism and a mem­ber of the del­e­ga­tion.

Some ho­tel con­glom­er­ates in China are al­ready ben­e­fit­ing tremen­dously from the grow­ing tourism econ­omy, ac­cord­ing to Win­nie Chiu, pres­i­dent and ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Dorsett Hos­pi­tal­ity In­ter­na­tional, who added that Chi­nese tourists are “high yield cus­tomers”.

“Chi­nese out­bound tourists spend more than $200 per day per per­son and they al­ready ex­ceeded what Ger­man tourists spend,” Chiu said dur­ing the del­e­gates’ meet­ing with Chile’s For­eign In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee.

“While Euro­peans typ­i­cally spend roughly 50 per­cent of their trav­el­ing ex­penses on lodg­ing, Chi­nese tourists spend 12 per­cent on lodg­ing. That means Chi­nese tourists not only con­trib­ute to ho­tel oc­cu­pancy but also to the re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment sec­tors.”

Martin Pathan, the com­mit­tee’s in­vest­ment at­trac­tion of­fi­cer, said Chile wants to at­tract in­vestors in con­struct­ing ad­e­quate ho­tels in some of the unique nat­u­ral land­scapes of the coun­try.

Last year Chile re­ceived 12,000 Chi­nese tourists among a to­tal of 3.7 mil­lion vis­i­tors.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Javiera Montes (cen­ter), un­der-sec­re­tary for tourism of Chile, meets with Panso Ho (left), founder of the Global Tourism Econ­omy Re­search Cen­ter, in San­ti­ago, Chile to dis­cuss ef­forts to at­tract Chi­nese tourists.

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