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    BEIJING, June 27 -- Will young "gold collar" professionals break with China's tradition of thrift and spend Golden Weeks at home in luxury hotels? A new company is betting they will choose stay-at-home travel and local pampering. (来源:英语麦当劳-英语学习门户 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

    Shanghai always ranks near the top in terms of travel outside the city during the Golden Weeks in May and October. But many people also say good-bye to their travel plans at the last minute because the destinations are "too far away," "too crowded," "too tiring" or they simply admit: "I'm too lazy."

    Those people might appreciate the new "stay-at-home travel" option offered by EC Navi China - staying at luxury, four-to-five-star hotels within Shanghai. Packages are available on the newly opened Website (www.manmanzou.com), under trial operation.

    EC Navi China obtains special hotel packages. In addition to a room and all the usual services such as breakfast, a typical package often includes free or discounted use of massage, salon, spa, gym, elegant dining and other facilities.

    The target customers are young professionals with a relatively high salary "who desire to get de-stressed from work and family affairs and also have the money to spend," according to Kouei Kaku, COO of EC Navi China, a fourth-generation Japanese-Chinese.

    In Shanghai many hotel facilities are under-utilized by hotel guests who are largely businessmen, says Kaku. This means there is capacity available for his packages.

    Among the small group of highly paid young professionals - 20 to 35 years old with 8,000 yuan (US$1,050) to 15,000 yuan monthly, some absolutely love the idea because "it will be a truly relaxing experience" and others, consider the concept ridiculous and a big waste.

    EC Navi China, a local company opened late last year, is invested by a Japanese price comparing Website. The company uses the business model of a successful Japanese Website that started the luxury vacation-at-home packages in 2000.

    "The concept, promoted in Japan since 2000, is quite popular now," says Kaku. He explains that many Japanese guys purchase such a package to spend a romantic night in the hotel with their girlfriend on special occasions such as an anniversary, the girlfriend's birthday, and Valentine's Day, among others.

    And it is also common for office ladies and their friends to spend a weekend in a quiet hotel where the lavish setting and facilities help them forget work pressure and worries. And they share the cost, says Kaku.

    Kaku himself is a highly paid professional and finds young adults in shanghai rather similar to their counterparts in Tokyo. This is precisely why he established the company - to bring the idea of "relaxing in a luxurious hotel" to Shanghai.

    "They have very different values from those of their parents' generation. Instead of living a thrifty and dull life to save for whatever in the future, they want to enjoy life fully," says Kaku. "Further, they have grown up with Western culture, which makes it easier for them to accept new things, like this concept to take a vacation in a luxurious hotel."

    Does Kaku really understand the needs of young professionals in Shanghai? Will they accept the new concept?

    Although they grew up watching Hollywood movies and American TV series, some young adults like Peter Shi, a 31-year-old salesman who makes about 10,000 yuan every month, still shares the more traditional values of being economical.

    "That's just a waste. Since I live in the city, why would I spend so much money on a hotel room? I could just stay at home or go clubbing with friends," says Shi. "Moreover, I need to save my money for marriage, for an apartment, for a car and for my child's education in the future."

    By contrast, 28-year-old computer engineer Jackie Luo could not agree more with the idea of "relaxing in a hotel." Luo makes about 12,000 yuan a month and finds it exhausting.

    "I often work until midnight during the week while my girlfriend, in a consulting firm, faces a similar situation. We don't get to meet often and even when we do, neither of us can go very far away because we might get called at any time," he says.

    Luo is considering purchasing a package on a weekend for himself and his girlfriend. "It would be a complete surprise - a weekend in a comfortable, quiet hotel with a romantic dinner. It is also easy to kill time for the next day since I can just go to the gym for exercise while she enjoys a two-hour spa or massage."

 
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