UK top draw for Chi­nese tourists, with vis­its surg­ing by 30 per­cent

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TRAVEL - By YANG FEIYUE

The de­pre­ci­a­tion of the pound is ex­pected to send more Chi­nese on a shop­ping spree in the UK.

The num­ber of Chi­nese vis­i­tors to the coun­try surged by 30 per­cent over April-June, China’s big­gest travel agency Ctrip re­ports.

And those who have ap­plied for visas through Ctrip in­creased by 40 per­cent.

Tourist num­bers are ex­pected to surge by 60 per­cent year-on-year dur­ing this sum­mer va­ca­tion, with par­ents with chil­dren be­com­ing a ma­jor force, ac­cord­ing to the travel agency.

“Chi­nese tourists are still keen to travel to Europe, in­clud­ing the UK, and the re­cent ter­ror­ist at­tacks did not change the trend,” says Shi Yuzhuan, an of­fi­cer with Ctrip’s mar­ket depart­ment.

“We’ve seen that tourists rarely can­cel their travel plans to the UK be­cause of at­tacks,” says Shi.

The coun­try came out on top as the most pop­u­lar Euro­pean des­ti­na­tion for the Chi­nese in a June rank­ing re­leased by Ctrip.

Chi­nese vis­i­tors are lead­ing the Top 10 sources of Chi­nese trav­el­ers to UK growth in UK tourism.

The num­ber of flights from China to the UK in­creased by 10 per­cent this sum­mer, and Chi­nese tourists are flock­ing to the coun­try to shop, Bri­tish me­dia re­ports.

Chi­nese trav­el­ers are ex­pected to spend 1 bil­lion pounds in the coun- try this year, dou­ble the amount they spent four years ago.

At the Burberry flag­ship store on Re­gent Street in Lon­don, Chi­nese tourists roughly ac­count for 70 per­cent of all vis­i­tors most of the time.

“The drop in the pound value has made tourism cheap and cheer­ful, which makes UK more pop­u­lar,” says Shi.

Mean­while, Chi­nese travel agen­cies have de­vel­oped shop­pingth­emed routes to cater to the trend.

In­di­vid­ual travel in Lon­don and ac­com­mo­da­tion at ho­tels near down­town sub­ways or pop­u­lar shop­ping blocks is ar­ranged for trav­el­ers to bet­ter ex­plore the coun­try’s shop­ping re­sources.

Ctrip is also work­ing with lo­cal busi­ness to of­fer shop­ping dis­counts to Chi­nese trav­el­ers.

The per capita av­er­age spend­ing of the Chi­nese now stands at 12,000 yuan ($1,770) and more than half of trav­el­ers to UK opt for trips that last for more than 10 days.

Lon­don, Ed­in­burgh, Fort Wil­liam, Manch­ester, Cam­bridge and Ox­ford are the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for the Chi­nese.

Shang­hai Beijing Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince Wuhan, Hubei prov­ince Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince Chongqing Tian­jin

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