Golden Week is silver lining for Chinese inbound trade

The UK expects to see a rise in visitors from China this week thanks to the annual Golden Week holiday.

Tourism agency VisitBritain said Golden Week is a “prime time” for the Chinese to travel and more are choosing to visit the UK than ever before.

There were a record number of visits from China to the UK in the first quarter of 2018.

From January to March, there were 68,000 visits from China, up 24% year-on-year, with visitors spending a record £96 million, up 4%.

ForwardKeys research shows that flight bookings from China to the UK for September 2018 to February 2019 are tracking 5% up on the same period a year ago.

Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director, said that China, the world’s most valuable outbound market, was a huge tourism opportunity for Britain.

“We want the UK to be top of the list for Chinese travellers, building on the strong growth we have seen and delivering a world-class visitor experience through increasing route connectivity and airline seat-capacity,” she said.

“Working with partners such as [Chinese online travel agency] Ctrip we are also converting the aspiration to visit the UK into bookings and inspiring more visitors from China to book a trip right now.”

China moved into the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound visitor markets last year with visits reaching a record-breaking 337,000, up 29% on 2016.

Visitors from China spent, on average, £2,059 per visit in Britain in 2017, more than three times the average overseas tourist.

Shopping is the most popular activity in the UK for visitors from China, followed by dining in restaurants, visiting parks or gardens, and museums or galleries.

For every 22 visits from China, one job is created in the UK’s tourism industry.

VisitBritain’s ambition is to increase spending from Chinese visitors to £1 billion annually by 2020.

Picture: VisitBritain. Home page image: Shutterstock.