Most Chinese visitors to the Caribbean are from the high end of the market who are seeking unique experiences, says Director of Tourism John Lynch.
Those who visit Jamaica combine business visits with leisure activities, such as sightseeing, but also spend a lot of money on shopping for high-value products such as Blue Mountain Coffee, he said.
"Most Chinese do shopping as part of their visiting itinerary, for example, during the visit to a coffee farm on the Blue Mountain, shopping in the Shopping Village when staying at Half Moon or nearby in Montego Bay," said Lynch, who heads up the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
The JTB has been participating in trade shows in China, and offering familiarisation trips to Chinese tour operators. The junkets may incorporate celebrities "as the research shows that the Chinese are influenced by their favourite celebrities," said the tourism director.
"The same applies to our sporting legends. Chinese visitors will be keen on visiting where they train even if the facility may not be as 'modern', but Chinese visitors would be happy to take pictures there."
JTB has found that the Chinese also like theme travel, such as golfing trips and film sets, but there is also a "lucrative MICE market" — meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions — to be exploited.
Both Chinese government officials and business representatives are known to travel abroad for meetings, said Lynch.