China represents the top international spenders in London’s West End & Mayfair and are therefore an important market for our luxury brands. Around Chinese New Year we always see a boost in visitors as Chinese tourists use their holiday time to travel and shop abroad.
Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West End Company, said:
“The number of UK visas issued to Chinese tourists has increased by 152% between 2012 and 2017 following reforms to the visa application process, which have been led by New West End Company. With China predicted to make 100 million outbound journeys a year by 2020, they remain one of the West End’s top customers. We are working with our retailers to introduce mobile payment systems such as WeChat Pay and Alipay in-store to ensure that the West End is ‘China-ready’. WeChat alone has more than a billion monthly users, so if retailers can tap into such platforms they will make their stores more attractive to Chinese shoppers.”
Kyle Monk, Head of Insight, said:
“In 2018 China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly 30 years, however prior to that, growth had been near exponential. China added more billionaires in the last three years than the US has in the last 10, and these ultra-rich consumers cumulatively increased their cumulative net worth by 45% to S$1.2 trillion [£685bn] .”