Chinese visitors to London double in 3 years

Updated: 2013-09-21 10:17


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LONDON - London's tourism industry is increasingly adapting to the growing number of Chinese visitors to the Britain's capital which have doubled in the past three years, a survey results published on Friday revealed.

London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for London, questioned 70 of the top restaurants, hotels, shops and tourist attractions for the survey, which revealed that more than a third of businesses now employ Mandarin speakers amongst their staff to cater for the growth in Chinese customers.

London has communities from 33 nations with 300 languages spoken - Cantonese and Mandarin are among the most common. In 2012, London welcomed 104,000 Chinese visitors, up more than a third from the previous year and double the number since 2009.

Businesses are also providing an increasing amount of information in Mandarin for Chinese tourists - in particular brochures, menus or other literature.

Improved travel links, with four Chinese cities now flying to London, have contributed to the increase in visitors in the last 12 months. Businesses in London believe that Chinese customers will be important to the growth of their enterprises over the next five years.

Feedback from the survey also showed that there is also a significant willingness across the board to continue to adapt products or services to suit the requirements of Chinese customers.

"This is great news for London and its Chinese visitors. London is a welcoming city and an accessible destination for mandarin speakers. We already know that more languages are spoken here than in any other capital city in the world but it is good to hear that so many businesses are investing in Mandarin language services. We want to make sure that all overseas visitors have a very positive and enjoyable experience during their time in London,"said Julie Chappell, Director of Consumer Marketing and Digital Channels at London & Partners.

Attracted by big brand names in London's Luxury Quarter, Chinese visitors spent an average of 1300 pounds ($2080) each in London last year which is more than any other nationality. In total, Chinese visitors to the capital spent 140 million pound in 2012 - an increase of 150 percent on the 2009 spend figure.