Businesses set to cash in as overseas visitors hit the UK for Chinese New Year
Chinese visitors could shell out over £11 million* in London alone over the coming week, as tourists flock to the capital to welcome in the year of the Rooster.
According to the latest data from Worldpay, department stores and high-end boutiques could be among the biggest winners during the annual spring festival, with spending on Chinese cards expected to be 40%** higher than average for this time of year.
These figures are expected to increase even further this year, with more Chinese visitors than ever visiting British shores. As Worldpay reported earlier this month, spending by Chinese visitors has increased by 24%*** year on year, as bargain-hunting ‘Brexit tourists’ take advantage following the slump in value of the pound against the Yuan in the wake of the referendum result. The combination of the weak pound and a growing Chinese luxury market means the UK has never been more desirable as a shopping destination.
Although many overseas visitors will be hitting the high street, it’s not all about the shopping. Museums, art galleries and cultural attractions can also expect takings to jump by 27%**. Meanwhile, bars and restaurants up and down the country could see takings from Chinese tourists increase by more than half as New Year celebrations get underway.
Chinese New Year is traditionally one of the busiest times for Chinese travellers, with an estimated 6 million people taking the opportunity to journey abroad during the public holiday. In the weeks running up to the event, travel agents and airlines across China have seen a 26%**** boost in sales as consumers take advantage of the public holiday to travel internationally. And with the UK government continuing to relax visa restrictions for Chinese visitors, it is now easier than ever for tourists to visit the UK.
Commenting on the data, James Frost, CMO Worldpay UK said: “As the Chinese New Year is seen in across the world, it looks as though Britain’s businesses are set for a Golden Week ‘gold rush’. With the weakened pound, London is much cheaper this year for Chinese visitors, and we expect popular shopping destinations to reap the benefits from the influx of free-spending tourists.”
With Chinese visitor spend mushrooming in the UK, Worldpay is enabling UnionPay cardholders to spend with more small businesses by having UnionPay added as a standard payment method to 250,000 terminals across the UK. Roll-out of the new software will commence over the coming months.
James Frost added: “Offering a range of international payment methods is an easy way to improve the overall experience for foreign visitors, and make them feel more at home. China UnionPay has the monopoly in its home country, and is the fastest growing card company globally, so something as simple as implementing this payment method could attract even more international shoppers into your store.”
About the data
*Calculation is based on the assumption that total sales processed by Worldpay during Chinese New Year 2016 equate to 40% of total card transactions over that period
**Analysis of non-UK card transactions processed by Worldpay in Chinese New Year 2016 compared to average for that time of year
***Analysis of non-UK card transactions processed by Worldpay in December 2016 compared to the same period in 2015
****Analysis of card transactions processed by Worldpay for travel & airlines customers in China from 11/01/2016 to 08/02/16 compared with 2015 data
Worldpay is a leading payments company with global reach. We provide an extensive range of technology-led payment products and services to over 400,000 customers, enabling their businesses to grow and prosper. We manage the increasing complexity of the payments landscape for our customers, allowing them to accept the widest range of payment types around the world. Using our network and technology, we are able to process payments from geographies covering 99% of global GDP, across 146 countries and 126 currencies. We help our customers to accept more than 300 different payment types.
Worldpay UK has more than 40% market share in the UK and helps businesses of all sizes sell more to their customers by accepting card payments in-store, online, via mail or telephone, and on the move. www.worldpay.com/uk
 Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute
 The Nilson Report – Global Cards Report 2015