Britain gets set for best ever Chinese New Year

As Britain gears up to host some of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia, VisitBritain is enticing overseas visitors with a special preview of the upcoming festivities. 

The national tourism agency, along with partners from London and across Britain, is holding a Chinese New Year preview event for Chinese travel trade and press on Wednesday 11 January at the Hippodrome Casino, in the heart of London’s Chinatown. 

The event will put the spotlight on how Britain’s nations and regions will celebrate Chinese New Year and will also showcase new attractions and events launching throughout the Year of the Rooster.

VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: 

“China is the world’s largest outbound market and a huge tourism opportunity for Britain. Chinese New Year is traditionally one of the busiest travel times for Chinese travellers and with Britain offering great value right now, we want to make sure the UK is at the top of their list as a must-go now destination."

As at the end of December 2016, Britain was 11% more affordable for visitors from China compared with the same month in 2015.

Latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings from China to the UK for January are up 81% on the same month last year and up 43% for January – March compared with the previous corresponding period which includes last year’s Chinese New Year celebrations in February 2016.

Chinese visitors stay longer and travel more widely across Britain than other international visitors, averaging 15 nights compared to eight for other visitors, with more than half of this time spent outside London. They are some of the highest spending visitors to the UK, spending on average £2174 during each visit, more than three times the average visitor. Every 22 additional Chinese visitors that Britain attract supports an additional job in tourism in the UK.


Notes to editors 

How Britain is celebrating Chinese New Year:

  • 27 January marks the start of Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rooster - and visitors to Britain will be able to join the celebrations taking place throughout all of Britain's nations and regions:
  • London's celebrations are some of the biggest outside of Asia with a colourful parade starting in central London's Chinatown and ending at a main stage in Trafalgar Square. 
  • Manchester will put on a Dragon Parade, led by a spectacular 50-foot dragon, ending in Chinatown which will be filled with traditional Chinese entertainment, more than 6,000 lanterns, street food villages and a fireworks finale. Additionally, this year will also see the acclaimed international art exhibition ‘Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors’ held in Manchester for the celebrations.
  • Significant celebrations will also be taking place in Birmingham, Cumbria, Edinburgh, the Isle of Wight, Leeds and Liverpool among others.