Government and VisitBritain to launch “China Welcome” initiative to get more income from Chinese tourists to UK
The UK is blatantly trying to get as many high spending Chinese tourists as possible to visit, and more importantly – as the government sees it – spend their money here. More and more of it. The shameless touting for Chinese business is, frankly, embarrassing. We don’t even try to be subtle in our desire to leech money out of tourists from China. Now all the stops are being pulled out to increase visitor numbers – including making obtaining visas easier. Sec of State at DCMS, Maria Miller, will launch a “China Welcome” initiative in Spring 2014, and Visit Britain says the initiatives to attract more Chinese could see 650,000 Chinese visitors per year by 2020, spending about £1.1 billion in the UK. There were 179,000 visits to the UK by Chinese people in 2012, which was 0.6% of all overseas visits to the UK. They spent about £300 million in 2012. The UK travel industry is salivating at the prospect that “In the last 12 months China has become the largest tourism source market in the world, worth $102 billion.” VisitBritain says number of Chinese tourists coming to the UK was up (?21%) in the first half of 2013 compared to a year earlier, and their spending was up by much more. Airports are keen to benefit, with Birmingham jumping in, to get its share. Earlier this year, VisitBritain said the UK’s tourism economy will be worth around £127 billion in 2013. They hope UK tourism will be worth £257 billion per year by 2025.
Initiative launched to attract more Chinese tourists to UK
3rd December 2013
Virgin Atlantic, Marketing Manchester, Marketing Birmingham, Hilton Worldwide, Gretna Green, Celtic Manor in Wales, the John Lewis partnership, Bicester Village, Harrods and The Roman Baths in Bath are backing the promotion.
They are already providing information in Mandarin and adapting to attract more Chinese visitors.
VisitBritain will work with businesses to build on this progress, sharing customer insights, raising cultural awareness and encouraging the training of qualified Mandarin-speaking guides – as well as translated websites and visitor literature.
VisitBritain aims to attract 650,000 Chinese visitors a year by 2020, worth almost £1.1 billion.
The tourist agency has endorsed UKInbound’s launch of the first Chinese Tour Guide Accreditation Scheme in the UK. Courses will start in London in February, with support from Capela Training, China Holidays and London & Partners.
Today’s announcement in Shanghai was also a call for more tourism businesses to sign up and get involved. Signatories will benefit from an increased competitive edge and better recognition from Chinese tourists, the government claims.
Miller said: “Britain is very much open for business and this is just the beginning. We want businesses from up and down the country to get involved, sign up and be part of this new game-changing initiative.
“The new ‘China Welcome’ initiative shows how serious we are about making sure Britain is ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting Chinese businesses and tourists.
“We are determined to encourage more Chinese people come to our shores, enjoy our culture, heritage, food, sport, shopping, countryside and music and invest in our country.”
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe added: “In the last 12 months China has become the largest tourism source market in the world, worth $102 billion.
“We want to make sure that Britain competes effectively for this market, helping the industry to develop products and services that appeal to Chinese visitors and making sure that the message of the GREAT British welcome is widely promoted.”
Birmingham Airport joins campaign to bring more Chinese visitors to UK
Deal with travel specialist Caissa will promote Birmingham as a gateway to Britain
Birmingham Airport has announced a new partnership with a travel specialist in a bid to attract more Chinese visitors to the region.
Birmingham now the fourth most popular destination for Chinese visitors to England and the airport deal with Caissa forms part of the Visit Britain ‘China Welcome Campaign’.
Caissa will work with the airport in promoting Birmingham as a gateway to the United Kingdom for Chinese tourism.
China is currently one of the fastest growing visitor source markets for the UK tourism industry at a rate of 20 per cent year-on-year over the past few years. The Chinese visitor market is worth more than £1 million to the West Midlands economy.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “Birmingham’s profile as a visitor and business destination is growing at a global level, but we must ensure we do our homework and continue to follow through on our promise of a first class destination.
“While direct flights from Birmingham to China may be the ultimate goal, there is much to be done to get there.
“Persuading major airlines that there is a business case is the start and these agreements will help us prove our commitment to making such routes work.”
Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport chief executive, said: “This will enable the UK and the Midlands region to showcase its rich heritage and world class tourist attractions.”
Neil Rami, head of Marketing Birmingham, said: “China is a hugely important market for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands and we are determined to make it a first choice for Chinese visitors looking to enter the UK.”
“UK aims to become China’s most welcoming destination”
- SoS Maria Miller announces China Welcome campaign in Shanghai
- New partnership between Birmingham Airport and CAISSA
- Target to secure 650,000 Chinese visitors spending £1.1 billion by 2020 across Britain
The China Welcome campaign, launching in the Spring of 2014, will showcase, promote and develop how the UK travel industry caters to the needs of Chinese visitors. Founding members who have committed to the initiative – including Virgin Atlantic, Marketing Manchester, Marketing Birmingham, Hilton Worldwide, Gretna Green, Celtic Manor in Wales, the John Lewis partnership, Bicester Village, Harrods and The Roman Baths in Bath – are already providing information in Mandarin, adapting their product offer and attracting a significant number of Chinese visitors as a result.
VisitBritain will work with businesses to build on this progress, sharing customer insights, raising cultural awareness and encouraging the training of qualified Mandarin-speaking guides – as well as translated websites and visitor literature – to ensure that Chinese visitors to the Britain get as much out of their trip as possible.
VisitBritain has already endorsed UKInbound’s launch of the first Chinese Tour Guide Accreditation Scheme in the UK. Courses will start in London in February, with support from Capela Training, China Holidays and London & Partners.
Today’s China Welcome announcement, taking place at an event on the Shanghai Bund, is also a call for more tourism businesses to sign up and get involved. Signatories will benefit from an increased competitive edge, better recognition from Chinese tourists and, subsequently, more business from China.
At the event Maria Miller will also announce that Birmingham Airport and CAISSA – supporters of China Welcome – are working together to increase the number of Chinese visitors CAISSA brings into the UK through Birmingham Airport. The partnership between Birmingham and CAISSA will see the development of new holiday packages and the introduction of special initiatives designed to welcome the Chinese visitor arriving at Birmingham Airport, an airport at the heart of Shakespeare’s England.
Tourism spend and visits from China have soared in the latest 2013 figures. The Chinese inbound market has grown faster in percentage terms than any other of VisitBritain’s twenty-two priority markets, with spend up by 132% (to £181m) and visits up by 21% in the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012.¹
The combined effect of improved aviation capacity, streamlined visa processing, VisitBritain’s marketing efforts under the GREAT banner and the China Welcome programme aims to secure 650,000 Chinese visits a year by 2020, worth nearly £1.1 billion annually to the UK economy.
Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said of the campaign: “Britain is very much open for business and this is just the beginning. We want businesses from up and down the country to get involved, sign up and be part of this new game-changing initiative.
“The new ‘China Welcome’ initiative shows how serious we are about making sure Britain is ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting Chinese businesses and tourists. We are determined to encourage more Chinese people come to our shores, enjoy our culture, heritage, food, sport, shopping, countryside and music and invest in our country.”
Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain added:“In the last twelve months China has become the largest tourism source market in the world, worth $102 billion. We want to make sure that Britain competes effectively for this market, helping the industry to develop products and services that appeal to Chinese visitors and making sure that the message of the GREAT British welcome is widely promoted.”
1. Figures from the Office for National Statistics relate to Q1 and Q2 of 2013
2. VisitBritain’s priority markets: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, USA
3. Companies currently signed up to China Welcome
Easyjet launches Chinese website
Easyjet has launched a Chinese website to cater for the growing number of passengers from China who fly with the airline on their trips in Europe.
The Luton-based carrier has seen bookings by Chinese citizens for travel on its European routes increase by 25 per cent in the last year.
Having already launched US, Russian and Brazilian homepages, the Chinese version is the 22nd Easyjet homepage around the world.
The move coincides with Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade mission to the Far East to boost trade ties between the UK and China.
Easyjet CEO Carolyn McCall said: “This year Easyjet has seen a 25 per cent increase in bookings from China versus 2012.
“The demand from Chinese customers is predicted to continue to grow over the coming years which means that, with a dedicated homepage, Easyjet is ideally positioned to capture more of the market of the millions of Chinese who are travelling to and within Europe every year.”
Easyjet said that Paris was the most popular European destination for Chinese citizens, followed by Milan, Rome, Nice, Barcelona, London, Edinburgh and Belfast.
Cameron praised Easyjet’s move: “As we compete in the global race, I welcome Easyjet’s move to launch a dedicated Chinese homepage and their commitment to Visit Britain’s China Welcome Charter, all of which underlines that Britain is open for business.”
Culture and tourism secretary Maria Miller added: “We are doing all we can to make it easier for Chinese businesses and tourists to come to Britain and enjoy the best our country has to offer.”
Last month, Easyjet announced it will launch two new routes from Gatwick to Brussels and Strasbourg in March 2014.
This is the VisitBritain Market Overview of China:
Market Overview – dated November 2013
Key insights from the Market Snapshot, Latest Insights and General Market Conditions chapters
Click on the link to go straight to the full Market Profile
- International tourism expenditure (US$bn): 102
- Global rank for international tourism expenditure: 1
- Number of outbound visits (m): 46.8
- Most visited destination: Hong Kong
Inbound to the UK in 2012
- 179,000 visits, accounting for 0.6% of all overseas visits to the UK
- 4 million nights, accounting for 1.7% of all nights in the UK by overseas visitors
- £300m spent, accounting for 1.6% of the total spent whilst in the UK by overseas visitors
- Compared to five years ago there has been a 25% increase in visits, a 40% increase in nights and a 69% increase in spend
- China’s new tourism law kicked in at the beginning of October, seeking to better protect tourists from misleading pricing and practices engaged in by some travel businesses. While there have been grumbles from the trade about a downturn in business this autumn due to the necessity of increasing tour prices to make up for the abolition of tours sold below cost that then included forced tipping or shopping trips to generate commission, the China National Tourism Administration has commented that this in fact shows that the law has had a positive impact and that the market is currently normalising, with any temporary downturn feeding into the long-term health of the industry. However, examples are already being cited of travel businesses managing to skirt the new regulation by rebranding tours as independent travel packages — only for travellers to find themselves part of a larger group of ‘independent’ travellers when they arrive at their destination.
- Media coverage was all positive on the latest alterations made to the British visa application process, announced during George Osborne’s visit to China in October. Three key measures were announced, namely the introduction of a pilot scheme allowing selected Chinese travel agents to apply for UK visas by submitting the EU’s Schengen visa form, the implementation of a new 24-hour ‘super priority’ visa service from summer 2014, and consideration of the expansion of the VIP mobile visa service beyond Beijing and Shanghai to the rest of the country, sending visa teams to applicants in order to collect their forms and biometric data.
General Market Conditions
- China’s population of 1.3 billion is still growing at 0.5% per annum
- More than 400,000 UK residents describe their ethnicity as Chinese
- In 2011/12 almost 80,000 Chinese born students were enrolled to UK Higher Education establishments
- China is expected to account for 19% of the global economy by 2018 and is now the world’s largest producer and consumer of cars
- By 2022 the number of urban households that can be described as ‘affluent’ or ‘upper middle class’ is set to number 225 million
- There are an estimated 643,000 High Net Worth Individuals in China, with the typical millionaire aged in their late 30s and most saying that they intend to send their children abroad for at least part of their education
- While English is taught at school those most proficient tend to be found working in companies that frequently deal with western countries
- The ‘Mid Autumn Festival’ is an increasingly popular time for taking a foreign trip
Download the full Market Profile for comprehensive coverage on these topics.
British Tourism: job creation powerhouse
? date November 2013 (Visit Britain press release)
- Tourism economy set to grow 3.8% per annum – faster than manufacturing, construction and retail
- Currently worth £127bn and growing to £257bn by 2025 – 10% of UK GDP
- Supporting 3 million jobs throughout the UK in 2013 (9.6% of UK employment)
- Accounted for one third of net increase in UK jobs between 2010 and 2012 (175,000 additional jobs) – and forecast to grow to 3.7 million jobs by 2025
- Inbound tourism the driving force of growth
Tourism’s central role in creating new jobs across Britain has been underlined in a report today from Deloitte, ‘Tourism: jobs and growth’, commissioned by VisitBritain.
Since 2010 tourism has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK in employment terms, responsible for one-third of the net increase in UK jobs between 2010 and 2012. Recent employment growth in the sector has been ‘stellar’ over this period says the report – more than four times the rate of manufacturing.
The report forecasts that the tourism economy will be worth around £127 billion this year (2013), equivalent to 9% of the UK’s GDP. It supports over 3 million jobs, that’s 9.6% of all jobs and 173,000 more than in 2010. The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 3.8% through to 2025 – significantly faster than the overall UK economy (with a predicted annual rate of 3% per annum) and much faster than sectors such as manufacturing, construction and retail.
Britain will have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025 – just under 10% of UK GDP and supporting over 3.7 million jobs, which will be around 11% of the total UK employment. Those jobs would be distributed throughout the UK – for while urban areas such as London, Birmingham or Edinburgh have the highest number of jobs in tourism, the relative level of tourism-related jobs tends to be higher in our rural and coastal areas. During this period of job creation, productivity in the tourism sector is also expected to increase by 2% per annum.
Deloitte has examined the relationship between the rise in tourism spending and job numbers. They have found that every £54,000 increase in spending in the sector creates a new tourism job in the UK.
Tourism’s impact is amplified through the economy, so its influence is much wider than just the direct spending of tourists. Deloitte estimates the tourism GVA multiplier to be 2.2, meaning that for every £1000 generated in direct tourism GVA there is a further £1200 that is secured elsewhere in the economy through the supply chain.
Inbound tourism will continue to be the fastest growing tourism sector, with spend by international visitors forecast to grow by over 6% a year. The value of inbound tourism is forecast to grow from over £21bn in 2013 to £57bn by 2025, with the UK seeing an international tourism balance of payments surplus within a decade – almost forty years since the UK last reported a surplus.
If Britain were to become as successful as its European competitors in the new emerging growth markets for tourism (such as China), with further investment it could increase the value of inbound tourism by an additional £12bn by 2025 – an increase to £69bn or over 20% on the base forecast.
Christopher Rodrigues, VisitBritain Chairman said:“Tourism has become a bedrock of the UK economy – generating a third of the UK’s net new jobs between 2010 and 2012 – and still has the ability to grow at levels that will lead other industries out of the economic slowdown.
“Deloitte’s report suggests that by 2025 Britain could have an industry worth over £257 billion (56% more than in 2013 in real terms) supporting 3.8 million jobs – across the country and at all skill levels.
“Inbound tourism is already one of Britain’s top export industries and will continue to be the fastest growing sector of the industry, with spend by international visitors forecast to grow by over 6% a year.
“Inbound tourism’s record performance since the Olympics bodes well for the future but to achieve the industry’s full potential we need to continue to raise our game, marry policy and marketing and promote Britain even more aggressively overseas.”
Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant, added:“We have showcased the best of Britain to the world in the last three years with some massive, memorable events, creating a huge boost for the tourism industry. More visitors are flying in and spending record amounts of cash and it’s clear that the size of the prize going forward is big. Tourism can continue to play an increasingly important role in Britain’s economic recovery, with jobs created and real career opportunities for many.”