The world’s tourism industry looks at Chinese tourists to offset an expected drop in visitors from Europe. But here is the dilemma, writes business analyst Shaun Rein in CNBC, talking to a hotelier in Thailand: what the Chinese tourists want is very different from what the Europeans want.
I pressed the hotelier for his reasons. He scratched the back of his head and said, “The problem with Chinese tourists is that their wants are so different from Europeans.”
The Chinese, he said, want lively, louder environments where they can shop for Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags and eat in large groups, while European visitors prefer a more tranquil, quiet, back-to-nature kind of experience. “When too many Chinese, Indians, and Russians come and we cater to them by opening shopping centers or set up large group tables, we see a clash with what the Europeans want. The Europeans leave and look for other quieter hotels, or different locations altogether. For instance, we have seen more Europeans leaving Phuket and going to Khao Lak and Krabi and other more peaceful areas.”
In other words, he was worried that he would lose his original core customer base by expanding it because the wants and expectations of Chinese are so different from other groups. Sharp differences in consumer wants and needs is a dilemma that everyone in the travel and leisure sector will have to handle – Chinese, Indians, and Russians are becoming the high-spenders, but how will that affect your current customer base?
For some solutions, read on in CNBC
Shaun Rein will publish soon his book The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that will Disrupt the World. Read more about Shaun Rein and his book at Storify.
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