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China of ‘increasing importance’ to UK tourism market

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Around 250,000 holidaymakers from China spent more than £1bn in the UK last year, marking the increased importance of the country to the UK’s tourism market.

According to figures released by VisitBritain, the number of Chinese visitors to the UK hit a record high in 2016, in terms of hotel nights spent in the country.

There is still plenty of space for growth too. While the Chinese outbound market is booming, China currently only ranks as the 24th largest inbound source market for the UK.

Globally, visits made by Chinese tourists abroad have more than doubled in the past five years, from about 41 million overnight stays in 2011 to 85 million in 2016. By 2020, the number of visits made by the Chinese is forecast to exceed 110 million trips overseas – making China the largest single outbound tourism market.

Encouragingly, a VisitBritain survey on Chinese visitors suggests that they are good advocates for Britain. Up to 73 per cent would be ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday once they return back to China.

“The UK is offering great value for Chinese travellers at the moment," said VisitBritain chief executive, Sally Balcombe.

“By showcasing the diversity of incredible experiences across our nations and regions, from shopping in our world-class boutiques and department stores to touring the countryside and visiting iconic locations from film and literature, we want to inspire even more Chinese travellers to put Britain at the top of their list as a ‘must-go-now’ destination."

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Around 250,000 holidaymakers from China spent more than £1bn in the UK last year, marking the increased importance of the country to the UK’s tourism market.
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