About the Chinese Business Club
I worked for eight years in Telecom, including four years at Bouygues, then I wanted to change sectors and six years ago I created my company Harold Parisot Conseils specializing in off-market real estate transactions for wealthy people. clients wishing to sell their assets discreetly. However, following repeated requests from very wealthy Chinese clients to meet opinion leaders in France, I had the idea of going further and in 2012, I founded the Chinese Business Club which is experiencing a very strong growth for two years.
About sixty companies are members of the club. What is the share of those that cover the field of tourism?
Already, it should be noted that we are positioning ourselves on the very high end, the great captains of industry, politicians, diplomats, ambassadors, etc. We have as regulars personalities like Michèle Alliot-Marie, Frédéric Mitterrand, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, etc. The club therefore wants to be very closed, premium, frequented by several Chinese billionaires. Regarding tourism, our main members are Club Med, Shanghri-La, Peninsula; Air China, China Eastern, but also high-end travel agencies like Chic Travel or Aiguemarine.
Today, there seems to be a frenzy of Chinese businessmen to invest in French tourism (Club Med, Compagnie des Alpes, Ovalys, AccorHotels), is your club harboring future deals to come or has- Did he play a role in some of these takeovers…?
Yes it is certain. But if the negotiations can start during one of our lunches, they inevitably end between four walls, far from indiscreet ears. And so, it can happen that I am warned... and in the past that I learn about the agreements in the press. In any case, it should be noted that 100% of our members renew their membership, a real guarantee of satisfaction.
On the French side, in tourism, what would be the Chinese acquisitions of renown in recent years?
I admit that I am more interested in the business of Chinese people going to France than the reverse, but on the other hand, I am very interested in Chinese students in France, and I also invite French businessmen to go regularly to China, to travel there, to meet their suppliers, to get an idea for themselves. Today, small French companies often lack ideas, for example, I regret that there are so few e-commerce sites in Chinese, when it would be so easy and so interesting for everyone.
Since the attacks, do you feel a wait-and-see attitude or a greater reluctance on the part of Chinese tourists?
Absolutely, tourism experienced a decline of 30% in 2016, while in 2015, France had welcomed nearly one and a half million Chinese tourists. However, I strongly believe in the 2020 objective, which is to reach 5 million Chinese tourists in France. And in this sense, it should be noted that Henri Giscard d'Estaing, president of Club Med, has already twice been the guest of honor at our lunches.
To come back to the Club, what are the conditions for joining it and is it also open to smaller companies?
The Club includes large groups but also SMEs and start-ups. Membership costs €7,500 excluding VAT and in return, the Club undertakes to organize six to seven events each year, including business-oriented business lunches, as well as high-level contacts with Chinese investors.
Ecology, sustainable tourism, important values for your club and yourself?
Yes, sustainable tourism interests me. Brittany is part of the top 100 of the most committed destinations. Soon, Sébastien Bazin CEO of AccorHotels who is very active in this regard will be one of our guests of honor. You should also know that Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, another of our members, has also taken in-depth action on this theme of sustainable development. Also, I think China needs sustainability and given the stakes and the pollution that exists there, they will surely be quicker than us to react.
How do you see the development of the Club?
Today, sixty-four companies are already members of the club, my objective is to reach a hundred and limit the number to 100, to always remain in the very high end. We also aim to open Clubs internationally, for example in London, which is only 2h30 from Paris, and which has a larger population of wealthy Chinese than in France. We are also organizing a gala dinner in Beijing next April, a special edition dedicated to women