Condé Nast Traveller targets Chinese consumer in London
Condé Nast Traveller targets Chinese consumer in London
A view from Arif Durrani

Condé Nast Traveller targets Chinese consumers in London

Condé Nast Traveller UK is hoping to cash in on the emergence of the wealthy Chinese tourist with the launch of a new bi-annual glossy, the Mandarin Expert Guide to Shopping in London.

Condé Nast Traveller UK aims to be an upscale and comprehensive luxury shopping guide, focusing on wealth hot spots in London, including the likes of Claridge's, The Bulgari, The Dorchester and The Goring along with 140 other hotels in West London and Covent Garden. 

The publication's target market is clear, the discerning Chinese traveller wondering what to spend their money on while in London - be it fashion, beauty, jewellery and watches. It's probably just as well the mag is written entirely in Mandarin as the general thrust of the free title does not sit that comfortably in David Cameron's austerity Britain.

However, it represents savvy British publishing. Earlier this year, VisitBritain research found that the Chinese were among the top three spenders when they visit Britain, spending an average of £405 per head when they visit. And trends from the 2013 UK Luxury Benchmark report suggest shoppers from China are currently the fastest-growing group of luxury spenders in the UK.

And only last week, Home Secretary Theresa May agreed a new tourist visa system for the UK allied with other European nations in a specific bid to make it easier for tourists to visit from China on a single visa.

Magazine publishers have always specialised in being able to follow market trends and spot lucrative gaps in the market. The perennial problem has always been around how long they can enjoy the spoils of any particular space before having to fend off competition from 'me-too' rivals.

In this instance, Condé Nast Traveller is the one gatecrashing the party, coming as it does just three months after the launch of Hearst’s first shopping guide in Mandarin Chinese being handed out with 10,000 copies of its Elle Collections biannual.

Back in July, Lorraine Candy, editor-in-chief of Elle UK and Elle Collections, had waxed lyrical about how "there is nothing like this innovative biannual on the UK newsstand".

Rest assured, the competition among traditional magazine publishers remains fierce.