Shopping tourism firm Global Blue say spending from Chinese shoppers now represents 50 per cent of total international spend in Manchester.
Chinese spend rose 29 per cent in Manchester last year.
There was also a 70 per cent sales surge from Kuwaiti and Thai shoppers.
Gordon Clark, UK Country Manager at Global Blue commented on the importance of international customers, whose taste for designer brands and “Made in Britain” items leads them to spend on average £677 per transaction.
“To maximise the potential of this market, retailers should introduce tax free shopping facilities to encourage higher spend and accommodate these shoppers by introducing multilingual staff,” he said.
Brands such as Coach, Givenchy, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Proenza all feature in the city.
Women’s accessories were revealed by the Heart of Manchester BID to be the most popular tax-free purchase.
The news comes as airline Cathay Pacific launched the first direct route from UK to China from outside London.