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Guest Post: This Major Trend Is An Obvious Business Opportunity

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

This Major Trend Is An Obvious Business Opportunity

It’s critical to be realistic about what’s happening in the world and to take steps to reduce the impact of governments gone wild. But as an unapologetic optimist, I think it’s likewise important to recognize that there is extraordinary opportunity all around us, no matter what.

I’ll give you an example. As an investor and entrepreneur at my core, I always lean towards business and financial opportunities first.

I prefer deals that seem obvious and have limited downside risk, whether a deeply undervalued, high quality asset, or a business with huge demand and low up-front costs.

Despite the dismal state of most economies, I see these types of opportunities everywhere in my travels, totaling over a dozen countries in just the last month.

Over the last few years, for instance, there’s been staggering growth of international Chinese tourists, particularly to Europe. I’ve seen the trend unfold with my own eyes.

Everywhere I go, I see hundreds of them– at airports, train stations, and top tier hotels. Even here in tiny Lithuania (which is not exactly Europe’s #1 tourist destination), there are droves of Chinese tourists running around the city.

Now, the growth and scale of Chinese tourism is no major revelation. Last year, the US-based travel conglomerate Expedia (which was actually started by Microsoft) purchased eLong, China’s #2 online travel site.

I had breakfast with a senior Expedia executive a few months ago, and I remember one story he told me quite well. He said that when they first entered the market, a lot of Chinese consumers were skeptical (or unable) to make online purchases.

They solved the problem by hiring an army of bicycle messengers who literally peddle all over China taking cash-on-delivery for plane and train tickets. As the executive told me, the opportunity was obvious, they just had to figure out how to make it work.

While it’s clear that the big boys in the travel industry understand this trend, there is still an obvious opportunity related to Chinese tourism.

Very few, if any, western tourist locations are Chinese-friendly. Basic interaction, food, transit, etc. are simply not set up for a Mandarin-speaking audience. English is the international language, and a lot of Chinese travelers don’t speak it.

That’s one of the reasons why they roam in packs. At the hotel I was staying last week, the Chinese tour group easily exceeded 100.  Chinese tourists do tend to travel in groups, but it’s even more pronounced on international voyages. For them, there’s strength in numbers.

These people are not broke, either. They have a lot of money, they stay in top-quality hotels, and they want to shop. Again, though, there are very few Chinese-friendly options available.

The potential of this market is trapped, and it’s a huge opportunity that few are taking advantage of.

Tour operators in China do their best to arrange excursions, but it pales in comparison to what could be done. Someone could create tremendous value by facilitating transactions between these potentially buyers and sellers… essentially helping to create a marketplace.

This type of business is scalable; it could be done on a small, local level in individual cities and tourist hotspots, or on a much larger, international level.  The demand is there, the door is open.

This is just one example… but it goes to show that regardless of how much money they print or how many freedoms they try to take away, there are always great opportunities out there.


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Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:19 | 2637070 battle axe
battle axe's picture

Huh? Why is this on Zerohedge?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:25 | 2637095 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

From the ZH Manifesto:

our mission:

  • to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public.

Or should we only include the same viewpoint in all posts?

On the flip side, the site needs to make money too...

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:37 | 2637152 Popo
Popo's picture

Simon is an idiot.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:42 | 2637495 4horse
4horse's picture

. . . totaling over a dozen countries in just the last month.

wherever you are, there you are





selfish selfcentered and just full-of-yourself




Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:43 | 2637172 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Pretty sure 'Simon Black' is sponsoring ZH to show his articles.  Its the only thing that makes sense.  They definitely don't appear by merit!

I remember a classic Simon Black article where he was doing his usual sell job of 'internationalizing' which just so happens to be his specialty, and he is trying to turn this specific 'service aimed at the Elite' into a 'service aimed at the middle class/average man' (just the typical business strategy of trying to find new markets for an existing service) and he says "There's no return to being involved in politics", implying "Why bother trying to change things, nothing will ever change, instead play the game, I'll even help show you how, and worst comes to worse, you will be ready, because you will have a home and a business in another country".

Except... Its wrong.  Nothing could provide as great a 'return' as making your country a better place to live for your children and grandchildren.  And on the other hand, nothing has as great a return in the current economic climate as bribing politicians (hence why its so important for the populace to be educated and demand justice). 

Basically he is a complete sell out, and is trying to convert the rest of us through his use of moral relativism.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:55 | 2637231 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Were the Jews who escaped Nazi Germany prior to the war "sell outs"? Sure, it's an extreme analogy, but not as ridiculous as you may think.

Things could get quite bad in the U.S., and to label those who choose to relocate elsewhere as "wrong" is ridiculous. I admire those who choose to stay and fight for a better, more just society, but if the U.S. is truly the "Land of the Free", then people have every right to live wherever they choose.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:28 | 2637423 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Choosing to relocate is fine, but then what about if things go sour where you have relocated?  Just relocate again?  And again?  Again and again and again?  Never standing up to the psychopaths?   In your WWII 'analogy' the sell outs were the Zionists who sold out their 'fellow' Jews, these Zionists were adamant Jews should not be let into America, Canada, etc. so they would have nowhere to turn except Palestine. 

Yes, its better to live to fight another day, but does that justify plain simple running away?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:42 | 2637487 Tinky
Tinky's picture

There are never any guarantees, so if one chooses to relocate outside of the U.S., there will of course be risks. But those risks may not be as great as remaning here.

Plenty of Jews (inlcude many of my relatives) made it to the U.S., Argentina, etc. before the war, and the Zionist issue is a red herring.

"Running away" is not only grossly simplistic, but ignorant as well. Choosing a potentially better life for one's self (and one's family) is a thoroughly rational thing to do. No one is obligated to stick around and be a part of the daunting task of helping to turn around a thoroughly corrupt, collapsing empire. Again, I admire those who make that choice, but wouldn't presume to pass judgment on those who choose a different path.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:15 | 2637884 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Risks of remaining here?

Are you worried about society becoming LESS just than it currently is?  Or are you worried that general ignorance combined with widespread rage will 'spill over', rendering justice obsolete? 

You come across like someone who is trying to convince themself of something.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:23 | 2637899 Tinky
Tinky's picture

There is no doubt about the general ignorance of the poulace, and little doubt that "widespread rage will 'spill over'". Will it render justice obsolete? I don't expect so, though it will be very unpleasant for most Americans.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:51 | 2637941 uniman
uniman's picture

Risks of remaining here (presumably in the US)

Hell yeah.  How about horrific police/surveilance state?  As their system disintegrates absolutely _anything_ you do to protect yourself is going to be taken from you, all the way down to collecting rainwater or growing your own garden.  When does teaching your children about these issues turn into child-abuse? Plenty of people will just disappear to serve as scapegoats and examples to intimidate the rest.  At some point civil war emerges because the Entitleds are unlikely to gracefully adapt to a new situation.  You can't save or reform this evil system.  All you can do is let entropy wipe it clean and then start over.  Get the hell out of town now while you can and watch the annihilation of DC on TV instead.

Justice will never be obsolete but it's going to be very painful.  Got a problem? Tell it to Judge Nature.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 16:17 | 2637624 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture


Thank G_d some of my teen aged relatives (died here iin the US some 20 years ago) (and their parents) jumped ship and came to the US in 1933 after finding one of their friends killed in the woods near their home in deutschland with a swatiska pinned to his chest.  Sometimes you get the feeling that the natives are not friendly.  Surely you are Pro Choice when it comes to getting the hell Out of Dodge!


Fri, 07/20/2012 - 23:51 | 2638332 tulip_permabull
tulip_permabull's picture

Your relatives were lucky to get out of Germany when they did. They escaped the genocidal Allied bombing.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 13:00 | 2640395 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

Unprovoked, I am sure.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:02 | 2637275 Popo
Popo's picture

I have lived for many years in 2 of the countries Simon writes about often, and do business in Cambo and Laos. Simon doesn't know the first thing about operating businesses in emerging markets, and if he did he'd be writing on articles on "How big a bribe is too much?", "How to prevent the government from seizing your company and politely showing you the door", or "Is there a chance your business partner is going to kill you?". He really knows nothing, He's a blogger. Period. He hasn't the first clue about emerging markets, tax laws, legal disputes, customs issues, etc. .. and his constant pumping of "it's better over here" is just ignorance targeted at the more ignorant.

Emerging markets present opportunities, yes. Easy, risk free opportunities? He must be spending a lot of time in his hotel room...

He's a wanker.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:27 | 2637416 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

I rather enjoyed his observation on why the Chinese roam in packs. I look forward to an in depth analysis of the herding instincts of illegal Mexican nationals in L.A.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 16:31 | 2637662 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Tend to cluster around fuzzy dice? (Anecdotal – I haven't done any proper research.)

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 16:43 | 2637696 one_fell_swoop
one_fell_swoop's picture

"...and his constant pumping of "it's better over here" is just ignorance targeted at the more ignorant."


That's pretty much the modus operandi of Zero Hedge right there.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:35 | 2637917 same old story
same old story's picture

Yes, I do love his deep insight.  I was sitting in the hotel lobby drinking a G & T and wow why doesn't someone do this.  


Curious can you share what you do.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 16:16 | 2643623 mkkby
mkkby's picture

" He must be spending a lot of time in his hotel room..."

He says he's been to 12 countries in a month.  That can only mean he spends all his time in airports and hotel rooms.  There's no other time for anything else.

To get to know anything, you need to spend weeks and months there.  Not a few hours going from airport to taxi to hotel, and back again.  He may meet one or two people who will merely talk their book.  You gotta get out and about.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 17:04 | 2637753 battle axe
battle axe's picture

CommunityStandard: You consider this  to "widen the scope of financial, economic and political information", if so, try reading a little more. This article is pathetic and below the standards of ZH. If you do not think so, you should go to another website, because you do not belong here. 

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:25 | 2637099 The Swedish Chef
The Swedish Chef's picture

Why? Too positive for you?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2637188 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Why is this still on ZH? Simon Schwartz always sucked.

I don`t even get the counter argument, editorial fool ever good for controversial discussion?

Sadly, I only see seed content for artificial anti-semitic
responses. The worst of exploitative attitudes exemplified.
What a shame. Black off, Simon...

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 22:35 | 2638254 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Now this is getting interesting.  Gardener do you know tree-planter?  That's a tangent.  ANTI_SEMETIC!!!  Where??  What are you talking about???  I understand the exploitative attitudes exemplified, but the anti-s word???  I think you've lost your mind.

Wait a minute ... I think I get it.  You think everyone's going to goof on Simon because he's Jewish?  Is he?  So what?

Popo - above is clearly the real deal.  I don't mean Jewish, though he may or may not be.  I mean his example issues on what you really need to know about doing business in SE Asia are clearly from experience.  On a positive note, the bites are often tiny by Western standards.

I get stopped in a speed trap in LOS $3, lots of appologies, pay on the spot. 

I get stopped in a speed trap in CA $120, lots of cool indifference.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:42 | 2640154 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

"but the anti-s word??? I think you've lost your mind."

Yes you are not far off, anti-s words are worth a lot of junks because serious discussion has been abandoned for
bad. Problem is my account get`s abused by this drunk,
even wrote to Tyler to have it removed...

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:22 | 2637084 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

Afternoon interlude for those bored/frustrated by the racket market

Who would have thought there would be something interesting at the Barcelona Junior World Championship?  ... and in the hurdles I might add!

(I’m not wasting your time… I promise, check it out!)


Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:43 | 2637171 11b40
11b40's picture

Bravisimo!  Oh, to be 21 again!

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:48 | 2637196 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Oh my!   And she dominated the race too!

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2637284 Seorse Gorog fr...
Seorse Gorog from that Quantum Entanglement Fund. alright_.-'s picture

Wouldv'e been embarrassing if she lost.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:45 | 2637505 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

I swear that the tattoo on her belly says "Made by ZH", but I could be wrong.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:22 | 2637087 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

I just hope they understand that if they are successful, that somebody along the line gave them some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in their life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable communist  system that they have that allowed them to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. they must understand If they have a business, they didn't build that . The point is, is that when they succeed, they succeed because of our country helped them along , but also because they must do things together.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:25 | 2637100 magpie
magpie's picture

That kind of talk would go well with the Great Wall for instance...

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:30 | 2637121 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

Or with the Pyramids.

You see that pyramid.  I didn't build it on my own.  I had you pull tons of stone up ramps and place them where I told you they had better be placed.  

It wasn't just me who told you.

You see this whip.  This whip also helped you build that pyramid.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:36 | 2637148 magpie
magpie's picture

The basic premise though is that Pyramids and Great Walls are not small businesses and no businessman has laid claim to them (perhaps i am wrong there ), well unless a tour operator like Mr. Black took such initiative instead.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:50 | 2637205 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Probably the pyramid was made using an early form of concrete (cement).  Doesn't diminish the accomplishment, but does answer some of the 'mysteries' regarding the moving of blocks, how the blocks were 'fit' so close together, etc.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:57 | 2637242 magpie
magpie's picture

Who knows...perhaps they will be destroyed in a few years. A few weeks ago i saw artifacts made from the Bamian Buddha.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:32 | 2637437 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

The 'tourist' part of the "Great Wall" was 'renovated' no less than 50 years ago.  But they renovated it in a 'historically accurate' manner, I promise, no embellishment or improvement or hyperbole was made, it was just 'renovated'.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:34 | 2637143 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

The Chinese will be coming here, in transport planes and aircraft carriers.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:38 | 2637156 magpie
magpie's picture

'The Golden Gate Bridge' - you didn't build that !

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:39 | 2637159 1984
1984's picture

Ahhh.  Aphorisms that belong in a little red book.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:48 | 2637194 magpie
magpie's picture

It's really quite hard to sound bolshevik and patronizing at the same time, for most people.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:24 | 2637093 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

I suppose the Chilean pick-your-own operation isn't doing too well.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:28 | 2637111 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

HA... I laughed out loud.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:35 | 2637114 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Chinese tourists in Europe.  Ya, the riots there will obviously be better than Beijing's. 

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:31 | 2637123 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I'm long " desalination plants" /sarc

  Freaking Korn is getting expensive!

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:47 | 2637519 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

How's that ethanol working out?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 16:22 | 2637638 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

So great that they're going to bump it up from 10% to 15%.

Got Genocide?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:33 | 2637136 Cardinal Fang
Cardinal Fang's picture

Um, they're not 'tourists' would be facilitating PLA espionage activities.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 23:46 | 2638327 Cardinal Fang
Cardinal Fang's picture

hmm, seems I've upset 1 Chinese spy. You weren't the 'tourist' I saw at the American Helicopter Museum? Well you should be happy now. You can go to some other museums where we have space shuttles on display for you, too.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:38 | 2637138 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Opportunity?  More like an opportunity to lose money.  Simon obviously has no experience dealing with Chinese tour groups.  In my experience, which is limited to only one city, the tour operators' M.O. is to book for 90 people, and show up with 100.  Up to the hotel/bus operator/attraction operator to figure out how to accommodate them, and good luck trying to collect the add'l. cost from the tour operator.

Although you have to watch out for Chinese tour operators, Chinese tourists are fine.  Clueless, but that's no different than tourists from any other place.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:21 | 2637391 Dburn
Dburn's picture

When I was 24. many years ago in 1980, I worked at a 3.5 star hotel in Colorado with 400 rooms that attracted a ton of Japanese visitors especially in the Summer. I was a Bellman then. A very high paying  profession then that I'm sure still is. I use to sell Grey line tours to the Japanese to see the Rockie mountains. Grey Line had it's shit totally together as far as I was concerned. On a full day tour i got a  cash commission of $3.50 a person and a $1.75 for a half day tour. That's when I learned how the art of the "up-sell". It was amazing to me to book a 100 (or 90) Japanese and get $350.00 in cash. Grey Line made a very official looking coupon book which allowed me to tear off one coupon to each person. I would usually just tear off a clump of them and hand them to the guy who spoke English. He would hand me the $350 in cash. I called Grey Line up and said "100 for 9:30am pick-up, tour #14 at [Hotel]".

That was the extent of the work I put in. The whole transaction including the sales pitch which was probably only 25% understood, took maybe 20 minutes. That would be like making around $1000.00 now. Not bad for a guy just out of college headed into the second worst recession in my life time. I would sell a number of them each weak. Then there was the Bag revenues, the rental car revenues, the taxi revenues, the late night liquor run revenues and of course the late night "talent" pickups. (10% of the take on services, $1.00 a bag, 100% -300% mark-up on full bottles of hard alcoholic  beverages of their choice.

So why did I quit? I was a fucking idiot. My unencumbered cash flow was growing exponentially . If was a business within a business where it wasn't unusual for the GM of the Hotel and those that worked for him to get loans form the Bellmen as they were notoriously underpaid. Yes "Pay Day " lenders too.

Looking back, Grey line would have collected for every head that went on a tour. If any operator tried that he would get nailed . If 10 people were left behind because of overcapacity, the tour operator would catch hell. As for Grey line, having a full bus for a one day tour was hugely profitable. They figured out how to compensate and maintain a enthusiastic staff of salespeople in all the major hotels in the City without the overhead. We in turn did our damnedest to get the tourist what they wanted and Grey-line what they wanted. You knew it all went well when the customers came back and bowed lower and thanked me profusely  for doing what amounted to nothing.

Low to zero cost of entry. Some shoe leather required like making deals with good small restaurants that were off the beaten path. Trust me, we got a hell of a lot less than Groupon gets and the Restruant would charge full price. We would get cards and put our name on it to show the Hostess to get special service. They did get bigger portions and as far as I know , no one jacked off in the food.

Sorry to say but the article is dead on. There is a pile of money for middlemen in tourism. If one were really serious, they would take a bootcamp for conversational Manderin  and Japanese. Learning how to bow and say thank you to the Japanese and Koreans was a huge money maker. Try not to shake hands with most Asians. It makes them very uncomfortable. Only do so if the offer their hand first. Oh yeah, if a Japanese woman is staring at you and she look appealing, she is demanding that you come over and introduce yourself. It's not becuase she's staring at warts. Lessons learned the the hard way.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2637435 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Most importantly though, "No"! means "me luv you longtime" in Mandarin.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:37 | 2637154 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Travel is great.  It broadens horizons.  I was once visiting an old burial ground in Boston with a friend, when some Chinese tourists (from Hong Kong) asked me, "who was Sam Adams?"  I gave them a little history lesson, and told them where to find the North End.  I firmly believe that learning about foreign places and people, if even on a superficial level, can do a lot of good, on an individual and societal level. 

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:42 | 2637166 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Travel is fantastic/ until it isn't.  Bugs, parasites, viruses, ect...   

    Don't get me wrong, I'm repatriating down under.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2637192 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

That's the flip side for sure.  Well, there's Boston, and then there's Burundi-- but even in Boston, you could always get sick from a bad lobster roll, I suppose.  Even "First World" countries can present challenges in that department-- like when I had to use a public toilet in Lyon, France, that was the filthiest I have ever seen in my life.  You had to defecate into what amounted to a hole in the floor, and not everyone's aim was very good, let's say.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:53 | 2637223 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Next time you are in China ask them about the "Opium Wars".  They will struggle to recollect anything about a time when the Great China was under the thumb of westerners and the country reduced to millions of drug addicts.  Wonder why the Communist Party left that chapter out of the history books?  Didn't help the narrative of the greatest culture/country on Earth, I suppose?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:58 | 2637254 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

I don't think I'll be in China anytime soon, but what's a bad century or two in the context of 6000 years?  China and India aren't squeaky-clean non-entities, they are big, messy, ancient civilizations, warts and all.  And they know all about the times when the Brits were shoving opium down their throats, believe me.  They also remember ancient kings from the time of Sumeria and Phoenicia, Communism is a blink of an eye by comparison.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:13 | 2637340 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 China my friend dates back 6000 years! If they couldn't figure out a rational trading society in that time frame, they should have been Euthanized!

   Yes I red flaged your post. I still like you though!

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:19 | 2637382 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I understand the  Rationale' of your post. Let's leave it to the corrupt PBOC  to make those decisions.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2637289 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 They probably asked for a " Gratuity" , based on French Culture. 

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2637180 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture


top end department stores in Paris have lots of Chinese speaking staff



Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:46 | 2637182 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

It's a racket and if you want to break into it, you had better be prepared...if you get my drift.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:49 | 2637201 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

despite all the vilolence and financial stress, for some reason I feel safer in my town here in the USA then in the  countryside of Uganda...ooops, I mean Uruguay.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:02 | 2637278 machineh
machineh's picture

Actually, the Uruguayans are amazingly conscientious about stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks.

If they weren't speaking Spanish, you'd think you were in New England.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:55 | 2637218 reader2010
reader2010's picture

The OP obviously didn't do his homework. The Chinese national government only allows a handful tour operators that are either run by the elite's relatives or friends to be in this business. What you observed is just some piecemeals those big guys outsourced.

and the latest observations:

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:00 | 2637257 e.blair
e.blair's picture

Not sure what that link has to do with anything.  Did you cut and paste correctly?  Do you have a link about state control of external tourism?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 22:42 | 2638262 reader2010
reader2010's picture

Those huge tour operators are all listed companies, and I am sure you can digest their annual reports. 

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:56 | 2637233 e.blair
e.blair's picture

To make this fly, are we talking two languages or one? Could a single staff member probably handle both Mandarin and Cantonese? How would that have to work?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 22:52 | 2638271 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Most Cantonese speakers understand Mandarin to some degree.  Mandarin is enough of a hurdle.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 14:57 | 2637239 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Hm. I hate it when Chinese people make pictures of me while i am working in the garden. Or do they like my wife pulling weed?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:46 | 2637513 billsykes
billsykes's picture

I don't like this soverign man stuff, it's just shady, really this one guy running around to a dozen countries in a month all the time? 2 days a country?

The only people I know like that are public company ceo's during a fund raising and only for a couple of months max and within a single continent.  How can one even be productive on a plane sitting and eating crummy food and be jetlagged? My german Schadenfreude side would like to know if this gimmick actually works or doesn't.

His stuff is so over the top and hard to swallow (mainly his "facts"), if he would just drop the international man of mystery routine and come clean with a legit background, he could pull in multiples of what he makes, either in AUM or fees. Look at some of those talking heads like that peter shif (spelling?) guy or the gold guy- gartmann, I am sure this simon templer (or whatever) could get on tv, I a have seen worse.


Why would I as an investor even think or listen to him when he uses a nom de guerre and leaves out huge swathes of information that would lead me to be skeptical on him actually living or investing where he does (chile)?

I realize the irony with my name and everyone here at ZH, but there is a difference,  I am not asking you to invest with me or live internationally.






Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:59 | 2637563 Divine Wind
Divine Wind's picture



I can vouch for Simon and Co.

I have paid for the service and think it is great. Niche stuff for paranoids, but I like it that way.

I travel just as much, if not more. His info is accurate.

The money paid for the information service is well worth every penny, and then a bottle of single malt at Christmas.


Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:38 | 2637680 billsykes
billsykes's picture

Still think he should drop the act an be like every other talking head. I am jaded as I have been part of a ponzi/investment scheme early on in life and it has the same kind of tone/rhetoric.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 20:04 | 2638057 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Simon Black?  Isn't this dude Rebecca Black's older brother?

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 20:07 | 2638066 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

This is such an opportunity, I nominate that Simon Black take on the project. Good luck Simon on your new endeavour and may you prosper as a travel agent for all of China.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 20:13 | 2638076 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Yeah, it probably would be a good business idea to cater to Chinese tourists.  This has occurred to me, and I don't have nearly as many used pages in my passport as Simon Black must.  I actually do have a 2-sided business card; English on one side and Mandarin on the other, because I do a little work in China, and a little touch like that seems to endear me to the locals. 

I was just in Yellowstone with the family, and the place was full of Chinese tourists, the way Europe is over-run with Germans on vacation.  It would have been a good idea to have some signage in Chinese, but American nativists would probably go bananas at the thought.

I hope the service he offers to subscribers is deeper than this.  Or maybe people should send me money in return for good ideas to make a lot of money.  I got a million of 'em.  Here's one, for free: Dehydrated Water in mylar packets, to sell at high-end outdoorsy stores like REI.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 00:35 | 2638361 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Why exactly are you so keen on seeing them chicoms overrunnin europe as if they ain't got enough trouble!  If you say tourism joke is on you because that all gets converted into "10,000 pardons" this and "one thousand thank yous" that but it is all just turning it into the kowtow palace in service of their ancestors the more they like the more they buy.  Ask Malaysia, place is festering with red chinee buying goods for kowtow, not need, and then joke is on Malaysia because it is a thousand pardons this and that all day long, and there goes your practical and economic sovereignty, if not formal treaty-wise.  You might as well just set up a row of factories and sell them handgrenades.  You ain't been schooled right, sir, I never, ever seen someone lauding bring the chicoms to our blessed shores wasn't it enough to keep them from pouring out of the swamps of Danang?

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 03:42 | 2638466 silverdragon
silverdragon's picture

Give Simon a break, he's an ex spook so he is used to getting lots of sh*t done in a small amount of time.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 04:06 | 2638478 silverdragon
silverdragon's picture

The key point to understand is that the Chinese are spending like they have never spent before.  They spend because thay have cash, they are finally learning how to live a little.  All this is positive for anyone with a retail strategy for China.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 15:32 | 2639119 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

"All this is positive for anyone with a retail strategy for China"

Just like it was all positive for anyone in real estate in the U.S. in 2006?

Beware of trends when they become "so obvious anyone could take advantage of this great opportunity!"  Uh-huh.  Heard that somewhere before.............

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 09:48 | 2638626 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

This is the best we have to offer American children?

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 12:50 | 2638944 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture

As mentioned numerous times, market intervention has only postponed the inevitable.

Despite short and medium term market vacillation - the following remains a constant :

>> USDX monthly indicators [ie big picture] continue to warn of significant long term USD upside. (thus EURUSD & AUDUSD etc bearish)

>> SPX monthly indicators [ie big picture] continue to warn of significant long term downside for equities which will be worse than 2008.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 15:29 | 2639112 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

The tourism industry has been jumping on the "Chinese tourists will save us" bandwagon for awhile now.  The idea that there is a "new opportunity" here is bullshit.  Hospitality and tourism companies have been jumping like lemmings into Asia.  In fact, they are heavily exposed to Asian markets and will be in a heap of trouble if China fails to keep its exponential growth boom going. 

Just ask Las Vegas.  The city that is only still functioning today because Chinese tourists/gamblers are keeping them afloat.  Meanwhile the same casino hotels dependent upon the Chinese here in Las Vegas are building casino hotels in Asia (at the peak of a bubble it seems) and are probably borrowing heavily to do so.

Other hotels/tourism operators are also taking on debt to expand in Asia because "everybody is doing it".  Look at any hotel website and click on "Hotels opening soon" and you will see Asia Asia Asia.

If/when the China bubble pops, a good many hospitality and tourism organizations worldwide are going to be shocked.

Furthermore, trying to get in on this already completely mainstream "opportunity" without a massive multi-national corporation behind you is complete insanity.  Chinese business is all about politics/corruption/relationships.  Even IF you have the right local Chinese officials on your side, if the tides shift and those officials are thrown out, so are you.  If you wouldn't run for political office, you shouldn't try to open a business in China because it is politics that determines success. 

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