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Page added on October 12, 2013

Chinese tourists take big spending to Maldives: The Wall Street Journal

“Rich Chinese who are sick of crowds at home during major holidays have discovered the Maldives, the tropical islands that typically draw jet-setters from Europe looking for an exotic locale,” writes Wei Gu for ‘The Wall Street Journal’.

“The Maldives has become the most desired destination for the Chinese, according to a report from China’s Tourism Bureau. Chinese tourists now dominate travel to the island country, with 103,734 arrivals in the first seven months of 2013, up 66 percent from the same period in 2011, according to its Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.

Chinese visitor numbers dwarf those from the UK and Italy, which are in second and third place with 60,021 and 53,493 tourists, respectively.

During the recent Golden Week holiday, Zhu Hong, a partner in fashion boutique Shanghai Tang, joined with a group of eight business acquaintances for a private-jet trip to the Indian Ocean islands. The luxury-goods executive is now on his seventh passport after running out of pages on the previous six. Most of his friends, who are Shanghai property developers, haven’t spent as much time abroad, so they were eager to tag along with a well-travelled English speaker.

Unlike many Chinese who often travel with business associates, Mr Zhu normally prefers to spend holidays with his family, but made an exception because his son was training for a tennis tournament.

They stayed in villas on the water in the Maldives, but hardly dipped their toes in the water. They spent most of their time playing a popular Chinese card game called fighting the landlord.

‘Although I wished they have spent a bit more time on the beach, they really saw this game as an engaging intellectual challenge,’ Mr. Zhu said.

Well-off Chinese who are tired of beaches in Southeast Asia are looking for a new destination.

For Chinese passport holders, the Maldives is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t require the hassle of a visa. Its white sand and lush green water couldn’t be more different than the travel scene in China during Golden Week, one of two weeks during the year when nearly the whole country is on holiday.”

Read more.

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  • Kashim: @tsk tsk You are Munafiq. Who are the absolute rulers in the world.. it is those in power at Washington or Israel that cannot be question and true dictator in...
  • Trennung: No offense to the many great Maldivian people who live here, but your government is a joke. Who could ever think this is a good decision?
  • Kashim: Truly media and family prostrate this case. Allow Maldives police to do there job and don’t interfered with foreign influence! Amnesty is paid from...
  • Kashim: This is good and with Islamic principle, in Sharia there must be no Gharar of uncertainty in a contract. If foreign worker come they sign a contract for time...
  • dead: These announcements are to show that they are doing something. Pressure from the boss to deliver! A regime that is known for being secretive about everything...
  • Expat: This just ruined the country’s future economic gains. No expat will ever want to come here and feel trapped. There are, as anywhere in the world, bad...
  • waste of time: Quote from the US State Department link above. “Passport confiscation was a rampant practice by private employers and government ministries, who...

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