China may remain governed by the communist party, but my, do Chinese travellers like the bounty of western capitalist countries.
According to a study by online booking site Hotels.com, the quality of shopping available to Chinese tourists is a major factor in deciding where to travel to. And this is fair enough given that the average Chinese tourist spends a whopping £647 per day just on shopping when abroad.
This insatiable demand for consumerism means that one in two Chinese tourists say that shopping is the holiday “activity” on which they will spend the most money.
The findings of the study pile pressure on the government to make it easier for Chinese tourists to come to Britain. Currently if Chinese tourists want to come to the UK, they require a specific visa for UK entry, while using just one for access to most other countries in Europe.
A trial scheme for a pan-European visa that includes the UK is now underway.
But the government has been criticised for failing the high street, the Telegraph reports.
Matt Walls of Hotels.com said: “Top-spending Chinese tourists don’t just want to see the sights when they travel abroad, they are looking to bag a bargain too.
“While the UK government has taken its time to streamline the visa application process for Chinese travellers, the UK’s retailers have been ‘streets ahead’ with many stores already accepting payments using Chinese credit cards.
“With shopping a top attraction for many Chinese travellers, appealing to this audience is now a top priority for retailers in many of the world’s leading shopping destinations, like London, Paris, and New York.”