The Brits are loving the Chinese for shelling out over £11 million in London alone over the coming week, as tourists flock to the capital to welcome in the year of the Rooster and the result of significant Brexit-driven disparity between the pound and the Yuan.
According to the latest data from Worldpay, department stores and high-end boutiques could be among the biggest winners during the annual spring festival, with spending on Chinese cards expected to be 40% higher than average for this time of year.
These figures are expected to increase even further this year, with more Chinese visitors than ever visiting British shores. As Worldpay reported earlier this month, spending by Chinese visitors has increased by 24% year on year, as bargain-hunting ‘Brexit tourists’ take advantage following the slump in value of the pound against the Yuan in the wake of the referendum result.
The combination of the weak pound and a growing Chinese luxury market means the UK has never been more desirable as a shopping destination.
Although many overseas visitors will be hitting the high street, it’s not all about the shopping. Museums, art galleries and cultural attractions can also expect takings to jump by 27%**. Meanwhile, bars and restaurants up and down the country could see takings from Chinese tourists increase by more than half as New Year celebrations get underway.
Chinese New Year is traditionally one of the busiest times for Chinese travellers, with an estimated 6 million people taking the opportunity to journey abroad during the public holiday. In the weeks running up to the event, travel agents and airlines across China have seen a 26% boost in sales as consumers take advantage of the public holiday to travel internationally. And with the UK government continuing to relax visa restrictions for Chinese visitors, it is now easier than ever for tourists to visit the UK.
With Chinese visitor spend mushrooming in the UK, Worldpay is enabling UnionPay cardholders to spend with more small businesses by having UnionPay added as a standard payment method to 250,000 terminals across the UK. Roll-out of the new software will commence over the coming months.