This year, Mainland Chinese citizens and residents have been enjoying a double holiday: the Moon Festival was immediately followed by China’s National Day holiday this year, making it an eight-day Golden Week for this fall. The last incidence of an eight-day Golden Week was in 2009; the next will be in 2020.
Golden weeks are treasured long holidays from work for families across China. Adult children in cities often leave early from work a day or two before, joining the rush to their families’ hometowns for reunions that last several days. Passengers will fill the aisles of domestic trains, while highways will be clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Smaller businesses may close for the entire holiday, leaving some streets empty; while hotels, malls, and other attractions will remain open for throngs of tourists.
Since Chinese travelers have surged into foreign tourist markets over the past decade, Golden Weeks have been especially popular for overseas visits. Business owners and some foreign enterprise employees are able to combine vacation time with their holidays, taking extended trips to leading cities overseas for shopping and sightseeing. Flagship stores in top luxury shopping districts around the world have hired native Chinese-speaking staff to accommodate these shoppers.
And increasingly, Chinese now spend some of their Golden Weeks house hunting, with Seattle drawing an ever-larger share of them from one holiday to the next. In fact Visit Seattle reports that Chinese tourists are now the number one largest overseas visitor to the area aided by direct flights with Hainan Airlines, Delta Airlines and Xiamen Airlines to name a few.
According to a recent Luxury Daily report, “searching for real estate” is one of the top priorities of Chinese consumers during Golden Week. As the article reads, “around half of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s top sales in Eastside neighborhoods in 2016 were to Chinese buyers.” Factors that are contributing to this surge include the firm’s WeChat account, and the all-Mandarin Seattle Luxury Living Magazine, which RSIR produces in partnership with Seattle Magazine’s Tiger Oak Media.
Luxury Daily outlined the influence of RSIR’s various initiatives connected to their Asia Services Group, which caters to international homebuyers.
As Jones told Luxury Daily, “if you don’t happen to speak the language or understand the culture and logistics, then you need to associate yourself with someone that does.” The article highlights the firm’s Asia Services Group, in which “individuals can act as guides for Chinese buyers, providing them with assistance for logistics including capital flow and matters of immigration, such as connecting them with school admission officers.”
“Knowing all the stress points and needs of that buyer makes you a more successful broker so that when you are visiting during Golden Week or for a limited travel time, we’re more successful at being able to complete a transaction during their trip or shortly thereafter because we’ve anticipated and addressed most of their concerns,” Jones added.
Here are some projected statistics for this week’s combined National Golden Week and Moon Festival holidays:
- 700 million person-trips (domestic and international)
- Six million person-trips overseas
- All trips increasing by 10-percent year-over-year
- An estimated 14.5-percent of all travel in the year by Chinese citizens will occur during this eight-day holiday
- Spending may reach 13.4-percent (RMB 90 billion) of all travel-related spending