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China likes its red - passes France as the biggest market for red wine
As red wine consumption has dropped among the French it has risen steadily for the Chinese, and China has officially become the world's hungriest market for vin rouge. In 2013, the country downed 1.86 billion bottles, marking an increase of 136% over the course of five years. Not only is China creating a new sales market, they're also changing the way winegrowers operate.
"In 2000, white wine grapes were more widely grown; however, in the decade to 2010 red wine grapes increased their share of the global vine-bearing area from 49 percent to 55 percent," Kym Anderson, of the University Of Adelaide School of Economics. "This shift is consistent with what we know about changes in wine consumption, with numerous countries moving away from white, and consumption rising in recent years in China where red wine is preferred."
Some of this rise can be attributed to wine replacing traditional liquors, as in recent years, more and more wine has been finding its way onto Chinese banquet tables, replacing traditional spirits such as baijiu.
Not only are the Chinese importing an increasing amount of wine, they're also getting involved in the business. According to the China Daily, Chinese investors have begun buying large tracts of land in Bordeaux at a rate of roughly 50 vineyards per year. "People who are buying Bordeaux chateaux want to service the market because domestic production cannot apparently meet the growing appetite in China," said Li Demei, a wine consultant and a lecturer at Beijing University of Agriculture.
Entrants into the 6th Annual Chinese Wine & Spirits awards are open until February 27.
Saudi to invest $30.9 billion in tourism over next decade
The Saudi government is investing heavily in its tourism sector, principally to provide employment opportunities for Saudi graduates. According to a 2013 MENA tourism and hospitality report by research consultancy aranca, investment in the travel and tourism sector is expected to increase at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4% to SAR 30.9 billion over a ten year period from 2013 to 23.
"The travel and tourism sector's direct contribution to Saudi Arabian GDP is projected to increase at a CAGR of 4% to SAR 83.7 billion by 2023. Put that into perspective it is equivalent to about 9% of current Saudi GDP, which is a great achievement, as the Kingdom looks to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon receipts," said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, organisers of annual Arabian Travel Market 2014.
The number of tourists visiting KSA is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 2% to 21.3 million over the period 2013 - 2023. Revenues will total SAR 60.9 billion by 2023 - due to an increase in the number of Hajj and Umrah tourists and growth of international shopping centres.
To cope with the increasing number of visitors, the Saudi government has outlined a plan to invest more than US$ 30 billion in its airports by 2020, including US$ 10 billion in private investment for the sector. More than US$ 12.5 billion has already been earmarked for the country's four main international airports in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Madinah.
"These four airports handle 91.5% of total air travel throughout the country, including 72.5% of domestic travel. Spending from leisure tourists is expected to rise at a CAGR of 4.4% to SAR 79 billion by 2023," added Walsh.
Lotte Hotel Moscow minibars stock Maria Sharapova's candies; proceeds to orphanage
Lotte Hotel Moscow has announced an exclusive partnership with the Sugarpova brand created by the international tennis sensation, Maria Sharapova.
Her line of Sugarpova gummy candy and chewing gum are presented in the mini-bars in all hotel rooms. The revenue received by Lotte Hotel Moscow from Sugarpova chewing gum and gummies sold within the period from March 2014 to June 2014 will be used for the development of the largest orphanage in the Vladimir region.
The revenue will be used for the implementation of a scientific and experimental platform, called the "School of Health". The program was launched by the Pokrovsky orphanage in 2002, and now it needs assistance in equipping the existing sports grounds with the necessary sports facilities that will significantly improve health and fitness of kids left without parental care.
IHG celebrates 30th anniversary in the China market
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the first international hotel company to enter the China market in 1984, kicks off the celebration of its 30th anniversary of operating in the country today. To commemorate this milestone, IHG will have a series of celebrations throughout the year, including milestone hotel openings across its brand portfolio, the launch of its industry leading talent development programmes as well as various social responsibility activities.
IHG opened its first hotel in China, the Holiday Inn Beijing Lido, back in 1984. Thirty years later, IHG has become one of the largest international hotel group in Greater China, with nearly 200 hotels open and another 180 hotels in the development pipeline. IHG's five hotel brands, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Express Hotels, are all including in the Chinese portfolio. The newest addition, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, is the one of the first international luxury hotel brand designed specifically for Chinese consumers, is due to open its first hotel in 2014.
Having created a significant number of jobs in China, with 60,000 employees working in its hotels and offices, IHG plans to create another 30,000 new jobs by 2015. Initially established in China in 2006, the IHG Academy has grown rapidly since its inception and now operates in 37 countries around the globe. In China alone, the current 30 IHG Academies contribute around 5,000 experienced graduates ready to enter the hospitality industry every year.
China is currently IHG's second largest market after the United States and is likely to surpass the US to become IHG's largest market by number of rooms by 2025.
HolidayPhone and Hotels.com offer discounted roaming-free intl mobile services
Travellers booking their accommodation with Hotels.com will from today be able to purchase discounted international roaming-free mobile Internet, voice and text services from HolidayPhone. The 40% off discount voucher can be purchased once a booking is made on Hotels.com. HolidayPhone can save travellers hundreds or even thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros in mobile phone charges when abroad.
Once customers have made a hotel reservation at any participating hotel, all they need to do is click on the link in their booking confirmation, or access it through their Hotels.com account, and they will be taken straight to the co-branded page to purchase their discounted HolidayPhone card. The offer will be available on the Hotels.com website until 1 April 2014.
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