2018 is the year of EU-China Tourism and many industry experts, including Roy Graff, Managing Director of Dragon Trail Interactive, predict that this will be a record year for Chinese tourism, especially with regard to long haul travel.
It is expected that while Chinese outbound travel may not keep rising at the rate it has been recently, it will still increase. Also, the proportion of those taking long-haul flights for their holidays will increase more in comparison to those going to Greater China or Southeast Asia.
The Chinese visits to the UK follow the same general seasonality as most international markets. July to September is the peak period. In fact – in 2016, around 47% of Chinese visitors who came to the UK did so during this period. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see busy periods at other times of the year.
Chinese New Year, which this year is on Friday 16th February (making it the year of the Dog), was traditionally a period for Chinese citizens to return home to spend time with family. However, recently, as the Chinese economy has grown and matured, so have their tastes. International travel is now very popular for the week-long holiday over this period.
Similarly, Golden Week in October is now also a busy period for international travel from China. With so much time off, the affluent millennials (which comprise around two-thirds of Chinese travelers), often take their families on holiday during this period. The main reason for this is that the disposable income of millennials in China is higher compared to their western counterparts. Often in China, parents will pay for their childrens’ education, phone bills, car, and often first house or apartment. This leaves the child with no overhanging expenses to pay during their 20s and 30s. The child will often pay for their family’s holiday as a “thank you” gesture.
Another highlight that we will see this year is during the weeks surrounding the Royal Wedding on the 19th May. The main appeal for Chinese visitors to the UK is British culture and heritage, and it will be on many Chinese travellers’ agendas to see the Royal Wedding in Windsor this year. Following a similar event in 2011, we saw over 30 million international arrivals in the UK. Clearly, Royal Weddings have a strong influence on travel to the UK.
At See Britain, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and will continue to offer fantastic holidays in the UK, specifically geared towards Chinese visitors. With more “quintessentially British” experiences to offer, more hotel partnerships who are particularly “China ready”, and other offerings to be announced in due course, we view 2018 as a huge opportunity to showcase our high standards of service.
If you would like to talk to us about creating your perfect holiday in the UK, please add us on WeChat (QR below).
If you would like to work with See Britain to attract more Chinese visitors to the UK, please email us. Our Director, Rob Jones, would be more than happy to talk to you.