Bitesize China Facts

There’s an abundance of insight available about the Chinese travel market and, at China Travel Outbound, we make it our business to read and analyse as much as we can. But for a bit of ‘China Lite’, we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite stats about Chinese visitors to the UK. With thanks to VisitBritain.

It’s not all about the shopping

Although over 60% of Chinese like to shop in Britain, they don’t come here to shop, but for a host of other reasons. The top motivation the Chinese give for visiting Britain is to see our cultural attractions, followed by our countryside and sampling local food and drink.

Comedies, tragedies and mysteries

The Chinese are interested in British culture with the monarchy topping the chart. But literature is very important too, with Mr Shakespeare coming in at number 2 on the list, Sherlock Holmes at number 4 and a wizarding schoolboy at number 6. Even Agatha Christie makes it into the top 20.

Big planners. Last minute?

The Chinese love to plan. Of all the long haul travellers questioned in VisitBritain’s survey, they were the least likely to agree with the statement ‘I like to be spontaneous on holiday and decide on some of my itinerary at the last minute’. However, when it comes to booking, 44% book within one month of travel. Which seems pretty late to us, given that Britain is a long haul destination.

A passion for Scotland

Although 47% of all holiday nights are spent in London, the Chinese are more likely to go to Scotland than any other nationality. Whisky is very popular too.

Agents and operators dominate

71% of Chinese surveyed booked via a travel agent, operator or comparison site rather than direct. Compare that with with the US market which is only 30% via the trade. Big difference. But one thing we have learned through our work promoting British destinations to the Chinese is that the operators won’t push unknown attractions into itineraries as the customers will question the inclusion. So, although it is absolutely vital to engage with the travel trade, British destinations and attractions also need brand awareness amongst Chinese consumers.

Finally, everyone’s favourite fact

Everyone’s favourite fact about the Chinese is that only around 4% of the population actually have a passport. And China is already the biggest overseas travel market in the world. So what’s it going to look like when 10, 20 or even 50% of Chinese people own a passport? Just imagine…

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