Chinese Tourists to Pump £1bn into UK Economy by 2017 (Reuters)

Chinese tourists will be pumping £1bn into the UK economy a year by 2017, according to a new report.

The £1bn (€1.3bn, $1.7bn) figure represents an 84% increase on the amount spent by Chinese visitors in 2013, according to the latest Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) survey.

Some 97 million Chinese people travelled abroad in 2013, up from 83 million the previous year. On average they spend £586 a day, with 2% spending over £4685 a day.

Over a third of hotel owners believe that Chinese tourists will have the biggest impact on their business over the next 12 months.

Regarding this year's crop of Chinese tourists, out of 3,000 that were surveyed, over half said that they booked their hotel accommodation via the web or mobile apps, up from 45% in 2013.

"Our study shows that Chinese travellers are becoming increasingly reliant on technology, both before they travel and whilst they are abroad," said Matt Walls, vice president EMEA of

"To appeal to tech-savvy Chinese guests, over two-thirds (70%) of hoteliers are offering free internet access and many more making their websites available in Mandarin.

"In addition, we're also seeing hoteliers start to sign up to Chinese social networks like WeChat and Weibo to engage with potential guests, as is now commonplace on sites like Twitter and Facebook elsewhere."

Australia is the first-choice destination for international Chinese travellers, but Europe is also becoming an increasingly popular destination, with France in second place and the UK and Germany in the top 10.

"Chinese travellers appear to be prioritising destinations that are most welcoming to them," said Walls.

"In Europe we are seeing France win out against other countries as a result of its efforts to make it easier for Chinese people to visit. Until recently, the UK's visa processes have acted as a deterrent to many Chinese visitors due to their complexity.

"However the reforms announced recently should make a considerable difference. The sooner these changes are introduced, the sooner UK businesses can benefit from the upsurge in international travel by the Chinese."