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Chinese visitors flock to Britain

Chinese visitors flock to Britain

Latest figures from VisitBritain show that visits from China were up 37 per cent in the first nine months of 2015, smashing previous records.

There were 214,000 visits from China from January to September, beating the number of visits for all of 2014, with figures for the last quarter of 2015 still to come.

Spend was up four per cent over the same period, to £435 million.

Britain could expect another boost from China as Chinese New Year approaches on February 8th, one of the prime times of travel for the Chinese.

Britain is gearing up to host some of the largest celebrations outside Asia from lantern parades in Manchester and London’s Chinatown to festivals and events in Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bristol, among others.


The new visitor visa pilot scheme for Chinese nationals introduced earlier this month by the UK government looks set to further position Britain as the destination of choice for this rapidly-growing market.

Chinese visitors are already some of the UK’s highest spenders, spending on average £2,688 a head.

VisitBritain has ambitions to double spend from Chinese visitors to £1 billion by 2020.

VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “China is the world’s largest outbound market and a huge tourism opportunity for Britain. Chinese New Year is traditionally one of the busiest travel times for Chinese travellers and we want Britain to be at the top of their list as a must-go now destination.”

VisitBritain’s latest figures from the International Passenger Survey also showed strong growth from the USA in 2015, the UK’s most valuable market, with visits up seven per cent during the first nine months of the year to 2.6 million, the best figures since 2007.

Growth was also seen in visits from Germany, up one per cent to 2.6 million from January to September last year, while the number of visits from France, the UK’s largest market by volume, was on par with 2014’s record result so far at 3.2 million.

Spending by visitors from France was up nine per cent to £1.2 billion, seeing it overtake Germany as the UK’s second largest market by value to date.