Published on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chinese turn noses up at UK, prefering Greece, Italy and France

Chinese holidaymakers prefer Greece, Italy and France to the UK, according to a new survey by Travelzoo of customers living in the Asia Pacific.

The survey, conducted at the end of last year, will be a blow to the UK's inbound tourism as it shows that the Chinese are still favouring other European destinations despite chancellor George Osborne's trade mission to Beijing last October.

Travelzoo Asia Pacific CEO Jason Yap said: "The outbound Chinese market is huge and the UK is missing out again and again. 

"There are still various factors which mean the UK isn't the destination of choice for Chinese travellers - a lot of it is to do with lack of awareness about what's on offer in Britain but there are other issues, including the ridiculous visa situation.

"Despite half-hearted revisions to the visa application, countries like Switzerland are cashing in on the business brought by Chinese tourists as they make it simple to enter the country. "

Travelzoo estimates that the UK is missing out on over £1 billion annually by not attracting the wealthy Chinese middle classes who are prepared to spend more money to upgrade their holiday experiences and stay at high-end accommodation.

They no longer want guided tours, it said, but instead choose relaxing breaks with a  touch of culture,  good food and comfortable surroundings.

Travelzoo said Britain needs 'up its marketing game'.

The survey of 3,500 subscribers in the Asia Pacific region found that those in China will take more trips and spend more on travel this year.  The Chinese will take, on average,  6.5 holidays this year, spending an average of £5,000. 

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