3 reasons British business was excited by Chinese Golden Week

Chinese Golden Week may be over, but there are still plenty of reasons to get excited. China’s biggest national holiday sees all workers receiving 3 days’ paid holiday, which many use as an opportunity to travel. With many Chinese travelling to the UK, we look at why Golden Week, and the prospect of Chinese tourists, was so exciting for British businesses.

Helps the post-summer lull

Retail naturally sees a slump after the summer holidays. People go back to work, no one has time for trips out, and people start saving for Christmas. Golden Week in China is therefore perfectly timed each year to help bridge the gap between summer sales and the big winter splash out that comes when festive season arrives. With around 200,000 Chinese tourists estimated to have visited Britain during Golden Week, sales in the nation’s high streets can see a significant jump. In 2013 spending increased by a fifth during Golden Week, with London seeing 70,000 more transactions than the previous week (source: International Business Times).

Chinese can spend big on luxury and still make a saving

Chinese consumers love luxury. In a masculine society like China, luxury items are a way of demonstrating your success and wealth. The newly developed middle classes have plenty of disposable income to spend on luxury goods, but there is a reason that they come to London to buy them rather than stay at home in China. Thanks to high rates of tax in their home country, Chinese tourists purchasing luxury goods in the UK can make a huge saving. So while to us a Chinese visitor’s average holiday spend of £8,000 may seem high, it is actually saving them a lot of money compared to shopping at home.

Chinese tourists love Britishness

Events such as the royal wedding have cemented the Chinese love affair with Britain. Being a society founded on respect and hierarchy, Chinese people can strongly identify with many aspects of British culture. The Chinese hold British royal family in high esteem, as well as cultural icons such as British celebrities. In fact, ‘Britishness’ is one of the main motivating factors behind Chinese consumer’s desire to come to the UK to shop for designer clothing, according to survey participants.

It also helps that Britain, specifically London, has a reputation as a truly multicultural place. This makes Chinese tourists feel comfortable and welcome, especially with many shops, restaurants, and hotels going the extra mile to attract and cater to the needs of the Chinese. Large retailers such as Harrods and John Lewis employ Chinese speaking staff, as well as accepting China’s most popular credit card, UnionPay (source: South China Morning Post).

With the number of Chinese travellers, and the amount of money they intend to spend, predicted to steadily grow, UK businesses have a brilliant opportunity to tap into the lucrative market. While Golden Week may be a particularly strong example, Chinese tourists exhibit the same behaviours all year round: a love of Britain, and a willingness to spend.

(Image source: “UK Flag On Grunge Paper” | www.freedigitalphotos.net)