The UK might be lagging when it comes to attracting average Chinese tourists, the country is certainly successful in attracting the wealthy section of the Chinese. Key driver were the Olympics, estimates Hurun rich list founder Rupert Hoogewerf in the Telegraph.
Now the annual Hurun survey of wealthy Chinese has seen Britain leapfrog Italy, Australia, Dubai and the Maldives as a tourist destination.
This year, the UK is in fifth spot behind France at number one and the United States in second.
France has always been a popular draw for Chinese tourists not just because of the romance of Paris, but also because they can apply for a Europe-wide visa that allows them entry into any of the 25 countries covered under the Schengen agreement.
“There has been a surge in popularity of Britain as a luxury travel destination. It is a significant leap,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of Hurun. “The key driver I guess was the Olympics,” he added.
Hurun surveyed 551 Chinese millionaires, 69 of whom had fortunes of more than 100 million yuan (£10 million). Their average age was 39 and they made an average of 3.4 trips abroad annually.
Mr Hoogewerf said most of the visitors planned to visit London and remain “around one hour’s drive of Heathrow”. Some of them left considerable chunks of their fortune behind.
“I met someone last night who has bought a unit in One Hyde Park,” he said.
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