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China set to become major player in London tourism

By Angus Mcneice in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-06 07:33

China set to become major player in London tourism

Chinese tourists enjoy their trips along the River Cam by boat. [Photo/VCG]

The number of visitors London attracts from China is expected to double to 330,000 by 2025, according to a forecast issued by the office of the United Kingdom capital's mayor.

London hosted 160,000 tourists from China last year, according to London & Partners, the Mayor of London's official promotional agency.

The predicted 103 percent rise means China is set to become London's fastest-growing major tourism market, followed by India, which is expected to rise by 90 percent, and the United States and the United Arab Emirates, which are both projected to grow by 43 percent.

China set to become major player in London tourism

Chinese visitors' spending in London is also set to rise 129 percent from 218.5 million pounds ($283 million) last year to an estimated 500.7 million pounds in 2025. Each Chinese visitor spends an average of about 1,800 pounds during their stay in London, twice the 900-pound-per-week gross weekly household income in London.

Speaking at a launch event for London's Autumn tourism season, the city's Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Chinese visitors - tourists, students, entrepreneurs and business people - are so important to London being the great city that we are."

Goldman Sachs Research predicts that the number of Chinese passport holders will increase by 100 million over the next decade.

Khan was promoting a series of events being held across London over the coming months as part of its autumn calendar.

These include the West End opening of hit musical Hamilton, the Museums at Night Festival, the MTV European Music Awards and the return of the NFL at the Wembley and Twickenham stadiums.

A fifth of all Chinese visitors to London last year arrived between October and December. More than half of them arrived in the summer and around 14 percent arrived in winter and spring.

Khan also announced the launch of "A Tourism Vision for London", a new long-term campaign to promote the capital.

London& Partners will collaborate with 100 industry leaders, including Gatwick Airport and Hilton Hotels, to attract more first-time visitors, boost visitor numbers in offpeak periods and harness technology to engage tourists.

Promotional efforts targeting Chinese tourists last year saw record growth in visitor numbers at some of London's attractions.

The Royal Museums Greenwich, which includes the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House, the Royal Observatory and 19th Century tea vessel the Cutty Sark, saw a 78 percent year-on-year increase of Chinese visitors in June, following a campaign promoting the museums in China last year.

angus@mail.chinadailyuk.com

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