Record number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK

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There has been a record number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK in 2015, according to new data released today.

VisitBritain reports that the number of visits from China from April to June this year was up 35% to 50,000 compared with the same period in 2014. Comparing the first six months of 2015 to the same period last year the number of visits was up 28% to 90,000 a record first six months of the year. The figures, which come on the eve of China s President Xi Jinping s state visit, also show that seat availability on flights from China is up 16% for October 2015, compared to the same month last year.

Overall, international visits to Britain from China have more than doubled over the last five years from 89,000 in 2009 to 185,000 in 2014. According to VisitBritain, China is now one of the UK s fastest-growing tourism markets. The number of Discount Holidays © holiday visits were up by an even faster 48% compared to the first half of 2014 to 40,000 while spending by Discount Holidays © holiday visitors rose by 43%.

Sally Balcombe, chief executive, said: China is the world s largest outbound market and a huge tourism opportunity for Britain.

Chinese visitors have very positive perceptions of Britain, they already stay longer here than in our European competitor destinations and are high spenders.

She added that the trade body aims to double the current annual expenditure in the UK by Chinese visitors to 1bn a year within the next five years.

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