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Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories that give insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.

GIFT SHOP

China’s craze for wenchuang — culturally inspired museum products — keeps expanding with an officially-licensed set of Terracotta Army figurines that sold out in under an hour. The Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum is the latest Chinese institution to sell licensed products on Taobao, and the Xi’an-based museum is set to release more terracotta warrior merchandise in the coming year. Driven by access to cheap manufacturing, the ease and popularity of e-commerce platforms, and growing national pride in China’s cultural heritage, the wenchuang trend is only moving in one direction: up.

WAIT TIME

Amid trade tensions, increasing visa difficulties, and travel warnings from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, representatives from U.S. Travel sought to reassure a record delegation from China in attendance at the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW. “U.S. Travel has succeeded in spurring government action to reduce wait times before,” Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, said at America’s leading international inbound travel trade show, “and if these problems are recurring, we will activate our resources to do so again.”

CHILL OUT

Luxury hotels and travel brands must improve health & wellness offerings to attract health-conscious Chinese Free Independent Travelers (FITs), according to a Reuters Intelligence and ILTM Asia Pacific report. While health-centric travel is an established trend in Europe and the U.S., Chinese outbound travel has long been associated with retail and cultural consumption. Their appetites, however, are changing. Seventy percent of respondents stated that ‘all things healthy’ was very important in a holiday experience, and FITs are increasingly turning to spas and cleansing ‘workout’ holidays as a way to de-stress from their hard-working lifestyles.

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