(Corrects date to Dec 14)
By Pascale Denis
PARIS Dec 14 Top French hotels are offering
extra touches such as dried noodles and a bigger tea selection
to attract affluent Chinese tourists who prefer to stay in
cheaper lodgings near the airport when they visit Paris to shop.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, wealthy Chinese
visitors to the French capital use 20 percent of their trip
budgets for accommodation and blow twice as much on shopping -
the opposite of Americans' spending patterns.
"The priority is to return home with material signs of
affluence - they're not very interested in the intangibles,"
said BCG associate Jean-Marc Bellaiche.
Even well-off Chinese tourists often choose to sleep in
two-star hotels near Charles de Gaulle airport and travel into
Paris to shop, Bellaiche said.
But the plusher Paris establishments are eyeing a bigger
share of their spending, which typically amounts to
15,000-20,000 euros ($20,000-$26,000) per trip, according to
Global Blue, a tax-free shopping services provider.
The five-star Plaza Athenee on Avenue Montaigne has hired a
translator to assist Chinese guests with wine-tastings from the
hotel's 40,000-bottle cellar.
Packets of noodles and chilli sauce have been added to
minibars, Managing Director Francois Delahaye said. "It's also
very important to have tea available day or night."
($1 = 0.7641 euros)
(Editing by Erica Billingham)