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Different news from Qatar and a new COTRI index to measure the consumption patterns of China’s gourmets

Different news from Qatar and a new COTRI index to measure the consumption patterns of China’s gourmets

Dear reader,

these days Qatar has entered for many the mental map for the first time with regard to the conflict in Palestine. The Emirate Qatar however has also been the venue for the QTM Qatar Travel Mart 2023 including an international tourism conference, which was chaired by your humble editor. The new edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE includes a summary of the discussion with a focus on Chinese outbound tourism. More generally, the conference showed that the topics of sustainability are new technologies are in the mind and in the actions of all stakeholders, from destinations to hotel groups and from airlines to tour operators.

Another first in COTRI INTELLIGENCE is the introduction of the COTRI China Star Consumption Index. Using the number of Michelin Guide star-rated restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai as an indicator which cannot be manipulated by any government agency, the number of eateries which can find investors and customers to reach a level of standard necessary to be awarded a Michelin star can act as a clear sign for the status of luxury consumption in China. Michelin offers also guides for Guangzhou, Chengdu and recently Hangzhou, however, none of the restaurants in these cities have achieved until now a three-star rating. In a nutshell, the index reading jumped from 30 in 2018 to 40.5 in 2022, before slowing down in growth to 43 in 2023 and falling to 42 for 2024.

That not only reflects the number of Chinese and foreign gourmets no longer residing in the two cities, but is in line with the ongoing economic worries in China, which are further fuelled by the news about One of China’s biggest financial conglomerates with links to the country’s ailing property market warning investors that it is “severely insolvent”. Zhongzhi Enterprise Group (ZEG), one of China’s largest private conglomerates with operations in financial services, mining and electric vehicles and an important part of China’s shadow banking sector, announced that its total assets covered not even half of its obligations of about 65 billion USD.

Yet another topic discussed in COTRI INTELLIGENCE is the background of the trial phase of allowing the citizens of six countries, five of them European, to visit China under a visa waiver program. The only non-European country on the list is Malaysia. In the past China always insisted on at least a reciprocal agreement and in many cases did not even agree to offer visa-free entries when other countries introduced visa-free travel for Chinese citizens, as for example Morocco, Serbia and Albania did.

You can find all this and more in the current edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE. Some of the content including “China this week” and this COTRI weekly editorial is as always provided free of charge, for other content we invite you to consider a Premium or Premium Plus subscription and offer a special welcoming subscription for one month to give it a try with a 59% discount here: https://cotri-intelligence.com/welcoming-offer.

China this week: ZEG in trouble and selected visitors welcome

Topic of the Week: QTM Qatar Travel Mart 2023 International Tourism Conference report

Deep Dive: Background and development of visa policies for China’s inbound and outbound travel

Facts and Views: The new COTRI China Star consumption index

As always, best wishes from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the whole COTRI INTELLIGENCE team!