Golden Week is a prime time of travel for the Chinese and more are choosing to visit the UK than ever.
Latest official statistics show that there were a record number of visits from China to the UK in the first quarter of 2017. From January to March this year, there were 54,000 visits from China, up 27% on the same period last year, with visitors spending a record £91 million, up 27%.
Latest data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings from China to the UK for September to November are tracking 10% up on the same period last year.
VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said that China, the world’s most valuable outbound market, was a huge tourism opportunity for Britain.
“We want Britain to top the list as a must-go-now destination for Chinese travellers and to give them a world-class visitor experience. As well as making it easier to get here, with increased route development and airline seat capacity, we’re working with our partners to get great tactical deals in market and increasing the services that visitors experience.
“With our shops, visitor attractions and accommodation offering great value for Chinese travellers, it is a great time to come to Britain.”
In August this year, Britain was about 12% more affordable for visitors from China than it was the same month in 2015.
In November, VisitBritain will lead a large scale travel trade mission – Destination Britain China – to Guangzhou, in South China, bringing out 65 UK tourism companies to meet with China’s top travel agents.
Visitors from China spent, on average, almost £2,000 per visit in Britain in 2016, more than three times the all market average. They also stay longer, an average of 20 nights compared to the all market average of seven and travel more widely across Britain than other visitors.
For every 22 visits from China to the UK, one job is created in Britain’s tourism industry*.
VisitBritain has ambitions to double spend from Chinese visitors to £1 billion annually by 2020. In 2016, visitors from China spent £513 million in the UK.
Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.
Notes to editors:
*Based on 2013-2015 IPS data, Deloitte research for VisitBritain.