This week in the news, a new crop of Hong Kong bespoke travel services go all out to fulfill the whims of their ultra-wealthy clients, Tommy Hilfiger stops in Beijing on his brand’s 30th anniversary tour, a new Chinese billionaire is created every week, and China has become the world’s fastest growing coffee market.
As travelers from mainland China and Hong Kong have grown more adventurous and discerning, for the wealthiest among them, a night at a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons is no longer enough. A number of bespoke travel services in Hong Kong, including Unique Properties and Events, Quintessentially Lifestyle, and Nine, have stepped in to fill the void. Their well-heeled clients are looking for personal concierge services for vacations that are tailored to their desires, and they are willing to spend anywhere from HK$200,000 for week-long vacations up to millions of dollars for longer trips. Many of the travelers are young CEOs ranging in age from late twenties to early forties.
American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger presented his Fall 2015 fashion show in Beijing this week as part of his 30th anniversary celebration. The Fall 2015 collection is a nod to Hilfiger’s signature, which is iconic American fashion re-imagined with a modern athletic twist. Walking in the show were some of China’s top supermodels, including Shu Pei Qin, Xiao Wen Ju, Dylan Xue, Emma Pei, Bonnie Chen, Danni Li, Zhao Lei, and Jin Da Chuan. Along with the fashion extravaganza, Hilfiger also celebrated the opening of the largest Tommy Hilfiger store in China at the In88 shopping center.
New research from UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers has found that a new Chinese billionaire has been created almost every week so far in 2015. In 2014, there were approximately 200 Chinese billionaires, compared to 570 in the United States. However, China’s billionaires are younger and most of them are self-made — around 25 percent of Asia’s billionaires grew up in poverty, compared to 8 percent among U.S. billionaires. These new Chinese billionaires are making their money primarily in the real estate, technology, healthcare, and consumer industries. What’s more, the majority of this new wealth has formed over the last 15 years.
Despite the fact that Chinese drink only an average of four cups of coffee per person per year, the sheer number of people in the country means the market is huge, and it’s growing quickly. Starbucks, which first entered China in 1999, plans to double its number of shops in China to more than 3,000 by 2019. Costa Coffee, which has 344 shops in China, plans to have 900 in the country by 2020. To attract Chinese customers, coffee shops are adjusting their products to Chinese tastes, including tea-based drinks and sweet blended drinks. The Starbucks in Xintiandi in Shanghai offers a Green Tea Java Chip Frappuccino and a green-tea flavored cake.
image credit: Tommy Hilfiger