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3 Sep

In this weekend's South China Post, and article profiled how many Chinese parents are spending a small fortune to give their children a taste of the world.

The article described how "A growing number of affluent parents are sending their children overseas to improve their English and develop critical thinking skills. "Those who seek wisdom should read 10,000 books and travel 10,000 miles, the Chinese saying goes, and while one could easily spend a lifetime accomplishing the first task, many affluent mainland parents are increasingly choosing to put their children on the path to scholarship by sending them overseas for a season."

Agencies who organize overseas summer camps for primary and secondary school pupils report an explosion in the number of parents willing to shell out up to 40,000 Yuan (HK$49,000) - twice the annual per capita disposal income of the average urban mainlander - to introduce their children to the world beyond China.” Many of the students are said to become quite enamored with their visits to Europe and the U.S., determined for a longer stay by attending university overseas.

This situation appears to be another case of status gaining by parents and their children as they strive for a sampling of life outside of China. But what is gained by this exposure? What academic or social experiences are most desired through this international adventure?

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27 Aug

First of all, thanks to all of you who have contributed to this blog on any of the subjects in which I have inquired. I hope now that the summer has passed we can keep a good thing going and growing. As I once again will be teaching this fall, I intend to look for more respondents to join the ACE panel.

This Week's Blog Inquiry

Wealthy consumers are increasingly seeking out memorable experiences over luxury goods in a premium market that has now hit US$1.4 trillion a year, according to the latest survey.

Boston Consulting Group and research firm Ipsos' in their Lux Report state that, "Spending on top-end safaris and other intangibles now accounts for 55 percent of all luxury spending - US$770 billion - as consumers choose to splurge on memories over handbags or watches."

The report goes on to say, "The world's younger affluent consumers are those most likely to choose kite-surfing over Cartier, as people born after 1980 are more likely to define themselves by what they've done rather than what they have acquired. Even in brand-obsessed China, where personal luxury goods serve as a strong badge of status and success, experiential luxury dominates, growing at 28 percent each year."

What are your thoughts on the growth of experiences; exotic vacations, business or professional tours, or maybe academic adventures replacing the quest for materialistic treasures. Is there a different level of status experience provides?

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