Chichaku To Present At China Ready Forums In Arizona And Yukon



Vancouver, British Columbia, Oct 23, 2014 – Chichaku Corporation will be the keynote presenter at various upcoming China Ready forums to be held in Tucson, Arizona and Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. The forums, organized by their host Destination Management Organizations (DMO), are open to members of the DMOs and the general public.

The growth of the outbound Chinese travel market has been nothing short of phenomenal in the past decade. With over 100 million outbound travelers and a spend of $US 130 billion projected in 2014, this market is the single biggest growth market by a wide margin, and is a market no destination can ignore. A combination of language barriers, cultural preferences and differences in business practices has made it challenging for businesses to take full advantage of this opportunity, however.

Jonathon Reynolds, CEO/Publisher & Managing Editor of Chichaku, will present an executive level overview of the facts, opportunities, challenges, choice of actions and cost/benefit trade-offs so that decision makers are equipped to make informed strategic decisions to maximize the ROI for their organizations. There will be one-on-one opportunities after the presentation for individual attendees to discuss their specific needs and courses of action.

China Ready Forums Details

Tucson, Arizona
Date: Wed Nov 5, 2014 | Details and registration info

Whitehorse, Yukon
Date: Fri Nov 21, 2014 | Details and registration info

About Chichaku’s China Ready Program

The China Ready Program is designed to provide an executive level overview of the outbound Chinese market to decision makers of DMOs, hoteliers, activity providers and others in the travel industry. The goal of the program is to equip decision makers with high level information so that informed strategic decisions can be made for their organizations.

About Chichaku Corporation
Chichaku Corporation provides multilingual marketing services to destination management organizations, hoteliers and activity providers of the travel industry to help them establish and expand their presence in major growth markets such as China and other emerging countries. From China Ready Program, and translation to Chinese social media marketing, Chichaku offers a suite of services to meet strategic and budget needs of individual organizations.

Chichaku connects investors with region seeking development



Vancouver, British Columbia, May 26, 2014 – Through its involvement in promoting their local tourist destinations, Chichaku was pleased to be instrumental in linking the Parksville Regional Chamber of Commerce and the district’s school board with Chinese investors interested in helping realize their strategic economic development goals for the region.

Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the Parksville and Qualicum Beach area is a tourist destination famous for its sandy beaches and breathtaking sceneries. In its strategic plan, the region plans to diversify its economy and develop a local ‘green’ industry producing high value services and provide high paying jobs.

Chichaku has been collaborating with Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism and the regional Chamber of Commerce in its effort to promote the destination to Chinese tourists from mainland China and, more importantly, the Metro Vancouver region (see Tourists In Your Own Backyard). Through this working relationship, Chichaku had the opportunity to explore with the Chamber on how to realize its strategic vision on economic development for the region.

One thing leads to another, as the saying goes, and the result was a vision centering on the education and promotion of sustainability and resiliency in city designs, anchored by a local foundation which aims to turn Parksville into an international center of excellence in sustainability.

Details still need to be ironed out, but the plan involves the formation of a foundation focused on sustainability and an international academy. The academy will provide language and professional training for both domestic and overseas students from all over the world. WEtegrity, an investment company formed by domestic Chinese investors, will provide initial funding to the foundation and Academy and raise funds for future projects from domestic and overseas investors.

In the coming months, all parties will be working with the district school board to set up a unique public-private partnership which aims to provide long term benefits to both the region and investors.


Chinese social media: a numerical backdrop



Before embarking on our journey to explore the nuts and bolts of Chinese social media, perhaps it is instructive to first have a look at a set of macro numbers just to give us a proper perspective on where this crazy little thing called Chinese social media fits in the overall scheme of things and why we should bother to spend time making it part of our business strategy.


Internet languages Internet use worldwide has been growing at a breakneck pace over the past 15 years. Its user demographics have also undergone a significant shift. Whereas English has been and still is the most dominant language used, its user population now only makes up less than one third of the overall user population.

If you dig deeper into the numbers, you would notice what is even more significant is the pace of growth of non-English Internet populations. Whereas the English user population has grown by 301% over that period, the user populations for Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Russian have grown by 1,478%, 807%, 2,501% and 1,825%, respectively.

China is now the country with the largest Internet population with 538 million users (note: the entire population of the U.S. is 313 million). Since edging out the U.S. to take top spot in 2010, China’s user population has gone up by 118 million in the past two and a half years! Talk about a tsunami.

Another observation one can glean from the above numbers is that, as impressive as these numbers are, the penetration rate as a percentage of the Chinese population is only at 40%. Whereas comparable rates for developed countries such as the U.S., Japan, Germany, the U.K. and France are hovering around the 80% mark, making significant further growth difficult, there is still ample headroom for growth for China.


Internet users by country Mobile phones

If you think the above the numbers are impressive, take a look at the mobile phone statistics. From a modest user base of about 40 million in circa 1997, the mobile population has exploded in the ensuing 15 years and has for the first time exceeded 1 billion users in 2012 (1.1 billion to be exact). The user population went up by 126 million in 2012 alone.

Of all these users, 232 million are 3G/broadband Internet users. With the rapid growth in the smart phone user base, China has already pulled ahead of the U.S. as the largest market in terms of annual smart phone sales since 2011. It is also set to top the U.S. iOS (iPhones) and Android install base in 2013.

And 75% of users surfs the web using their mobile phones.


Sources: Internet World Stats , Techcrunch , NDTV Gadgets

Chichaku website launches beer section


Chichaku beer section


Chichaku Corporation is excited to announce the launch of the new beer section of our website.

The beer section of the website adds a new vertical theme to our travel website, complementing other existing themes such as wine and golf. The new section adds a new dimension to our website and provides travelers information on the different brewing regions of the world, characteristics of regional varieties and brands, regional craft beers, and, mostly importantly, where to find the best watering holes when one travels. A beer education section also gives beer drinkers a crash course of beer basics and different beer styles.

We are pleased to have Stephen Beaumont as the chief editor for the new section. An authority in beer, Stephen has been documenting the world of beer for over two decades, authoring, co-authoring or contributing to a dozen books in the process, including 2012’s The World Atlas of Beer, co-written with Tim Webb.

The Chinese version of the section will be the most comprehensive beer section currently available on Internet.

We will continue to expand our regional coverage over time. Breweries interested in being featured or working with us can contact us here.

Visit the beer section: English beer section | Chinese beer section

Nearly 1 in 3 Chinese tourists to U.S. stops in L.A., shopping spree as highlight


Chinese tourist shoppers in L.A.Nearly 1 in 3 Chinese tourists coming to the U.S. make a stop in Los Angeles. Along with the standard sightseeing hotspots such as Beverly Hills, Universal Studios and Hollywood, however, many eagerly anticipate their shopping trips such as those to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and, especially, the outlet malls.

Chinese tourists on average spend US$2,932 per visit to California, compared to $1,883 for other overseas visitors, and have become the highest spending overseas visitors to the U.S.. Beside their higher per capita spend, one significant difference which sets the two tourist groups apart is how they part with their travel dollar – the Chinese typically spend less on food and accommodations – by sometimes staying in less expensive hotels and eating at Chinese buffets – but significantly more, sometimes up to a third of their budget, on shopping.

Mid- to high-end brands such as Coach, Ugg, Polo, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Neiman Marcus and L’Occitane are highly sought after. To further stretch their travel budgets, outlet malls are among the most popular shopping destinations. Chinese tourists are often seen as speed shoppers who come already having done research on the brands and styles and know what to look for.

The calculus for the Chinese tourists is relatively straight forward. With a strong RMB, high taxes on imported luxury goods back home and the problems with knock-offs, the savings from stocking up on luxury items alone often pays for the entire trip itself. Suspicion about the quality of vitamins and other health supplements back home is a good reason buying such products in the States is also popular.

Most tourists indicated that most of their purchases are gifts for friends and family.

Source: LA Times

$102 Billion – China takes global outbound tourist spenders top spot


 Top ten overseas spending countries by rank

(in billions USD)


World 1,074
China 102
Germany 83.8
United States 83.7
United Kingdom 52.3
Russian Federation 42.8
France 38.1
Canada 35.2
Japan 28.1
Australia 27.6
Italy 26.2
Singapore 22.4
Brazil 22.2
Belgium 21.7
Hong Kong 20.5
Netherlands 20.2

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, China outbound tourists overtook Germany to become the world’s top spending travellers for the first time ever, thanks to a robust 41% increase in foreign travel spending in 2012.

The Chinese outbound travellers numbered 83 million in 2012 – an eight times increase from 10 million since 2000. Collectively they rang $102 billion (vs $73 billion in 2011) at foreign cash registers, putting them comfortably ahead of the second place Germans ($83.8 billion) and third place Americans ($83.7 billion).

Some other BRIC countries are also making steady advances up the ladder. Most notably, Russia advanced to fifth place after spending $43 billion, a healthy increase of 32% over 2011. At $22 billion, Brazil did not manage to make it to the top ten, but nonetheless had made much progress to 12th place from its 29th place standing as recent as 2005.

Overseas spending from developed countries was mixed. Whereas the US (+6%), Germany (+6%), Canada (+7%), the UK (+4%) and Japan (+3%) saw increases, others like France (-6%) and Italy (-1%) pulled back.



Chinese 101: Mandarin or Cantonese? (answer might surprise you)


Quick quiz: (without looking at the answer below) Should your website and marketing materials be done in Mandarin or Cantonese to target tourists from China?

Let me guess: you picked Mandarin, didn’t you? Well, the quick answer is neither. If this is not what you had in mind, read on.

Chinese 101

Since we get asked this question so often, we think a little crash course on Chinese would be appropriate.

As in other languages Chinese has a written and spoken form. There are two written forms of Chinese – Traditional and Simplified Chinese. As for spoken Chinese, there are a gazillion dialects, but for practical purposes, we will limit the discussion to only two dialects: Mandarin and Cantonese.


Simplifed & Traditional Chinese


Written Chinese

Traditional Chinese existed long before even the printing press was invented (the real printing press; not Ben Bernanke’s printing press). The characters look beautiful but are composed of a complex set of strokes. After the communists ruled China, they decided to make learning easier for the masses by simplifying the strokes of characters, and, hence, the new form called Simplified Chinese.

Spoken Chinese

Of the gazillion spoken Chinese dialects two are of most significance. Mandarin had long been a popular dialect, and was edicted by the Chinese communist government to be used as the official spoken language. Cantonese is a dialect spoken in the southern province of Canton (Guangdong nowadays), Hong Kong and parts of South East Asia.

Who writes in what form and speaks what dialect?

Whereas older generations of Chinese were educated in the Traditional form, newer generations living in China are pretty well brought up in Simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese continues to be used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and outside of China.

Mandarin is spoken by the people in China and Taiwan, whereas Cantonese is spoken in Hong Kong, China’s Guangdong Province and a large number of overseas Chinese who emigrated in the past from Hong Kong.

So what should you choose?

If money is no object, of course you should do both. But if you have to choose, pick Simplified Chinese if you want to target tourists from mainland China (and a percentage of local Chinese residents in your host country); just don’t forget there can be a sizable market right in your own backyard (see our previous post Chinese tourists in your own backyard?) which speaks Cantonese and/or writes Traditional Chinese. Stay tuned for our future post as we double-click on the who’s who within the overseas Chinese communities.

Now you know why the answer to the original question is neither: because it is the wrong question. The right question to ask should be whether the website should be in Traditional or Simplified Chinese. Next time you know how to impress your boss and clients with the right lingo!

Chinese tourists flock to Europe and U.S. for Christmas


Lured by the tropical sun and deep Christmas discounts offered by retail stores, an increasing number of Chinese tourists are choosing to travel abroad for Christmas despite it not being a public holiday period in China.

China International Travel Service Ltd (CITS) said all outbound group trips sold out a month before Christmas Day. It also reported a 20% increase in groups on shopping trips in Europe and the US compared to 2011. Air France also had no tickets left from China to Paris one week before Christmas, thanks to these outbound tourists and foreigners living in China going home for the holiday.

The main reasons for this trend can be attributed to lower airline ticket costs, thanks to a strong RMB (or weaker US Dollar and Euro) and more airlines operating flights between China and Western countries. As for the shoppers, the Christmas discounts are increasingly making a more compelling case to shop in the brands’ home countries compared to China or even traditional shopping hot spots such as Hong Kong and Macau.
According to the British tourism authority, the number of Chinese visitors to the United Kingdom reached a record 150,000 in 2011. The visitors also spent a record 240 million pounds ($390 million).

Another emerging trend sees Chinese tourists increasingly choosing to spend their holidays on the warmer islands this Christmas, a departure from the usual practice of large tourist groups visiting several countries. Islands in Southeast Asia and beyond are also becoming a major destination for Chinese tourists. According to CITS, the number of travelers visiting islands in Southeast Asia increased 50 percent this Christmas from last year. Packages to Maldives, Sabah, Koh Samui and other islands were sold out as soon as they were launched, according to International Ltd.

Certainly a bright spot for the industry otherwise hard hit by the ongoing economic woes in the West, especially Europe.


source: China Daily

A retrospective glance over the development of Chinese outbound tourism in the past ten years


Anyone who takes a retrospective glance over the past ten years would certainly agree that this has been a golden period for the development of Chinese outbound tourism. In 2011, outbound tourists numbered 70 million – a 22% increase over the previous year. Chinese outbound tourists increased five fold in the past ten years.

As more and more Chinese citizens travel outside their homeland – and many of whom have done it more than once – their travel needs and preferences as well as their world views continue to evolve.

More demand for quality

Whereas travelling overseas was considered a luxury in the past, it has become a part of their lives for a lot of Chinese. Travelling is also becoming more personalized and diversified. The favourite cheaper group tours of the past are slowly being overtaken by travel by individuals and smaller groups made up of several families who pay a lot more attention to quality. At the same time, there has been a significant increase in visits to second and third tier destinations.

More and more Chinese visitors are asking for itineraries tailor-made to their tastes, according to Germany’s Caissa Touristic (Group) AG. “They are looking for better quality in our product offerings. Some would ask for a restaurant by name or request to go a particular spa”, says one of its managers, “They are no longer satisfied with sleeping on the bus and jumping off to take a few pictures in between.”

Another study in Germany also reveals that the most discernable change in Chinese tourist behaviour is the increasing focus in personal experience – a slower pace, more free time to explore, opportunities to see lesser known “tourist traps” and learning the stories behind these points of interest.

A wider worldly view

As more and more Chinese travel overseas, their views of the world also change. Whereas visitors in the past seldom failed to marvel at the modern facilities of the host countries, such feelings are becoming much less obvious as they have already seen similar if not even more modern facilities back in their home country.

As their travel experience becomes more extensive, their worldly views continue to grow, along with their understanding of and respect for the cultural differences between them and the host countries. For example, many younger Chinese visitors would like to attend an ice hockey or an American football game in order to experience the local culture and traditions.



First Flight from Inland China to North America Lands in Vancouver


china mapOn June 22, 2012, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) landed the inaugural flight of Sichuan Airlines from Chengdu to Vancouver. Not only was this Sichuan Airlines’ first flight into North America, the new service, which operates three times a week between Vancouver and Chengdu via Shenyang, will serve as a first direct link between North America and China’s western and northeastern regions.

The new Chengdu – Shenyang – Vancouver service will enable North America to extend its reach into the new markets of China’s interior provinces. Chengdu with a population of 14 million, is the provincial capital of Sichuan, home to 100 million inhabitants. Shenyan, with a population of 9 million, is the capital of Liaoning Province, a major industrial region in China’s North-east.

Demand for air travel from China continues to grow, and last year the number of airline seats available between Mainland China and YVR increased by 30 per cent.


Sources: YVR Mingpao

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