News from Asia

  • A Chinese stock market meltdown is unlikely, advises Philip Guarino, editor of China Luxury Advisors, who predicts 2016 will see further downward pressure on the Chinese yuan, but ‘while the momentum might slow, the trajectory is still positive.’
  • 2015 was a record-breaking year for outbound Chinese tourists, says travel market research specialist GfK, which reported that they reached 109 million last year, spending 229bn US dollars. South Korea and Thailand have overtaken Hong Kong as most popular destinations.
  • Chinese outbound tourism remains on track to reach 200 million by 2020 – Asia research firm CLSA’s recent survey indicates travellers are focused on cultural destinations, not just shopping.
  • HSBC highlights the continued decline in Hong Kong as a popular place for Chinese to travel and shop (retail sales were down -8.5% in 2015) according to CNBC. Chinese globe shoppers are going to Japan instead, says Bloomberg.
  • Business of Fashion highlights how Japan’s luxury industry is thriving amid a foundering economy. 
  • ‘Smurfing’ or moving cash out of China is a trend among wealthy Chinese keen to retain some form of money liquidity, according to the New York Times.
  • For the Chinese globe shopper mindset, the attitude to recession is upbeat and the Wall Street Journal says, ‘What slowdown in China?’
  • E-commerce will be a significant driver of Chinese spending patterns. When it comes to Chinese luxury, ‘if you’re not online you’re a loser,’ reports industry blog Trendwalk in light of a recent report on Chinese online shopping behaviour by KPMG.
  • Tourist arrivals to Japan surged 47% in 2015, according to new data from the Japan National Tourism Organisation. Driving the growth was a 107% jump in Chinese arrivals, according to a Nikkei report.

 

News from Russia

  • Russia’s weak currency is attracting Chinese tourists this Chinese New Year, who are reported to be visiting Moscow for the culture, architecture, winter-scapes and shopping, according to Reuters. The city’s largest luxury department store, Tsum, is targeting Chinese globe shoppers with Mandarin signage and VIP concierge services, says Reuters.
  • In Russia, luxury brands are seeing strong sales as the mass-market continues to struggle, according to Bloomberg.
  • Oil prices are yet to stabilise. Hopes earlier in February of a deal among oil-producing countries to freeze production levels boosted the ruble’s value, according to a Reuters report. This was short-lived, as major player Iran decided not to participate, according to Bloomberg, prompting a further fall in the ruble.
  • Despite the uncertainty, January data on retail sales, real wages and industrial production were better than expected, encouraging analysts from Capital Economics and Barclays to note that the worst may be over for the Russian economy.

 

Global news

  • Americans are the globe shoppers to watch for international luxury spending growth in 2016, says the Business of Fashion.
  • Hermès and Chanel rank as top brands worth their premium pricing, according to the Luxury Institute’s latest Luxury Brand Status Index report.

 

News from Europe

  • Europe remains the most visited global tourist region, with 609 million inbound travellers in 2015, according to a new UNWTO report.
  • International tourist arrivals to Europe increased by 5% in 2015, according to the European Travel Commission’s latest report.