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