Chinese tourists hit outlets for Black Friday

Updated: 2014-11-27 11:31

By Lian Zi in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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American outlets are expecting a boon from Chinese tourists this holiday season.

Ralph Zhu ofUsitrip, a Los Angeles-based Chinese travel agency, said thebooking rate of tours during the holiday season starting on Black Friday was expected tosoar 60 percent over the same period last month.

"This week,more than half of the 4,000 Chinese visitors who booked their trips with us want to spend at least one day at the renowned US outlet centers," Zhu said.

He said crazy deals at US outlets on Black Friday are very attractive to Chinese tourists who are looking for luxury bags and electronic products.

"Chinese tourists who visit southern California on Black Friday will definitely go to the Desert Hill Premium Outlet, the largest one on the south coast," said Zhu.

Chinese tourists will spend $7,000 on average per trip on Black Friday, the US largest shopping festival, Zhu predicted.

The situation seems the samefor East Coast cities.

The booking rate for a one-day tour to Woodbury Common Premium Outlet in New York has increased to eight times above normal. Normally, less than 40 Chinese visitors per day book outlet shopping tours with Tian Ma, said Brian Bian, spokesman of Tian Ma, a New York-based Chinese travel agency.

"Even though we arranged eight tour buses for Black Friday, the tickets still sold out quickly," said Bian.

In response to the increase in holiday spending, top retailers in the US have ramped up efforts to attract Chinese customers by providing multilingual customer services.

Bloomingdale's in New York, Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco will have bilingual staff fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese to serve Chinese visitors. Also, a spokesman for the retailer told China Daily in an email that they would offer China specialists to Chinese tour groups with customized services during the holiday season.

Duty free states such as Oregon have become hot destinations for Chinese tourists this year during the shopping season.

"I plan to buy a diamond ring formy fianceeon Black Friday atWoodburn Premium Outletsin Portland, Oregon, I can save hundreds dollars in the duty free state," said one Chinese gentleman.

(China Daily USA 11/27/2014 page2)