While London has always been a popular holiday destination with Chinese tourists, Paris remained the number one European city of choice until recently – but not anymore!
Thanks to the weaker pound compared to the Yuan following the Brexit vote last year, more Chinese than ever are leveraging their greater spending power and coming to savour the sights and sounds of London. Not only are more Chinese coming, they’re staying longer too, providing a welcome boost for tourism-related business in the capital.
According to travel data analysts ForwardKeys, bookings from China for the first three months of 2017 have increased by 43% compared to 2016, and are up by 81% for January compared to last year. Many visitors will be planning their trip to London to coincide with the start of the Chinese New Year, from January 27 to 29, as London has long been famous for hosting one of the most lavish celebrations of its kind outside of Asia. This year – the ‘Year of the Rooster’- promises to be as spectacular as ever and will include the traditional lion’s parade from Chinatown to Trafalgar Square, as well as a fantastic range of Chinese music and dance, food stalls, markets and a wide variety of cultural events over the three days.Another reason for the boom in visitors from China is due to the much-simplified visa application system and the opening of more visa application centres across China, making it easier for more people to apply. The life of UK visas has also been extended, from six months to two years, giving Chinese visitors more flexibility. Add to that the fact there are more direct flights to the UK from China now, including from large conurbations such as Tianjin and Chongqing, and it’s easy to see why numbers have jumped so impressively of late.
Of course, London can’t afford to rest on its laurels and while it may be cheaper for Chinese visitors to come here, they’ll still expect to get value for money. That shouldn’t pose a problem, as the capital has so much to offer in terms of world-class visitor attractions and sightseeing opportunities such as Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and many more.
Enjoy London by walking it!! Download our free East Tour guide – you’re welcome to that!
Why not purchase the West End tour too – the CD is a great souvenir purchase to keep and treasure as a memory, or buy as a gift for someone back home!