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Why is Chinese retail tourism booming?


Chinese tourism is booming, with numbers increasing by nearly 50 per cent last year, this trend is set to continue.

Not only are Chinese tourists increasing exponentially in numbers, but they are also increasing the amount they spend on our streets during their visit.

Many studies have even attributed the influx of Chinese tourism to the stability following Brexit. London’s West End, which contributes more to the GDP than Wales, says Chinese tourist spend was up by 65 per cent reaching and average of £1453 per person.

Retailers nationwide are preparing for Chinese Golden Week, a national holiday which sees huge numbers travel across the globe. Westfield shopping centres are offering tax-free shopping for consumers across the week and The Body Shop have introduced Alipay allowing tourists to purchase with one touch.

RELATED: The Body Shop poised for Chinese Golden Week with integrated Alipay

What is it that attracts so many Chinese tourists to come and spend money in the UK? A spokesperson from VisitBritain commented: “Chinese visitors are interested in high-end shopping and they appreciate the craftsmanship and authenticity of our brands.

“Chinese visitors are also attracted to the UK’s culture. In the 2015 Anholt GfK Nations Brand Index study China ranked the UK first overall for culture and second overall for not only tourism but also as a place they’d like to visit ‘if money was no object’.”

RELATED: Westfield prepares for massive international spend during Chinese Golden Week

It is clear that the UK remains a major player in global tourism and this remains a major factor in the booming Chinese tourism market. The weakness of the pound, and enticement of a good bargain is another major factor in the current booming trade.

Although retailers are preparing for a torrent of tourist shoppers over Chinese Golden Week starting tomorrow, many have expressed concerns over a sharp decline in trade with the Sterling’s growing strength.

Visits from China, the world’s largest outbound market, were up 46% in 2015 despite a strong pound so we are confident that this will continue to be a growing market for Britain,” continues VisitBritain who state they aim to double the spend of Chinese visitors to £1billion by 2020.

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Published on Friday 30 September by Ben Stevens

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