China piques growing interest from South American luxury market

Luxury South American travellers

China is attracting growing interest among South America’s luxury travellers as trade between the two continents strengthen and luxury bleisure bookings are on the rise.

At the recent Further East luxury travel trade show in Bali, Linda Wong, managing director of Destination Asia China, told TTG Asia that she has seen a surge in bleisure bookings from South America.

South American luxury travellers are increasingly interested in China

She said the trend is being fuelled by the ongoing trade war between China and the US, with Chinese importers ramping up purchases from Latin American countries.

Added Wong: “This has opened up a lot of business opportunities and we are seeing a lot of corporate bookings from South America. A large majority (of business travellers) will bring their family with them (to China) and extend their stay with a luxury experience.”

WildChina’s deputy general manager Jenny Zhao noted that China is a “new trend” for luxury travellers from Brazil, which in addition to Mexico, the UK and the US make up some of the company’s current largest source markets.

Beijing-based DMC Imperial Tours’ managing partner Guy Rubin said that a steadily strengthening economy in South American countries has also sparked a renewal in interest in China’s luxury travel segment this year.

The introduction of new, non-traditional products, Rubin added, is also sparking interest from the South American market. This includes activities such as drinking tours that teach guests how to make rice wine and locally-brewed baijiu, as well as visits to the emerging range of micro-breweries.

Furthermore, China’s authentic range of wellness options are also ticking the boxes for South American luxury travellers. Said Rubin: “Wellness is a buzzword in the west but in China it very much forms part of everyday culture; it’s the way of life.”

High-end South American travellers are also drawn to China’s advanced technology, according to Wong. She said: “We are receiving many requests from South America to experience the AI technology in China; they want smart experiences.”

To cater to this demand, Wong is curating a smart tour that incorporates AI elements, including robot-run restaurants and AI-operated hotels in China.

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