Chinese shoppers swarm to London

Luxury London hotels are set to receive an influx of Chinese tourists as the region’s growing economic clout has been matched by an interest in high-quality British goods, according to a report by the Guardian.

Following aggressive retail invasions into mainland China by luxury goods retailers Louis Vuitton, with more than 40 shops, and Burberry, with more than 100 locations, the locals are increasingly looking to spend their cash on UK goods.

Furthermore, tourism group Visit Britain has conducted an advertising and promotional blitz in the region, hoping to lure more tourists into luxury accommodation in London.

This effort included representatives from top shopping destinations in the capital, such as Harrods, Selfridges, Westfield shopping centre and more.

“The reason all these retailers came with us to China is that at a time when domestic demand is, let’s say, soft, the Chinese market is expanding,” said Patricia Yates of VisitBritain.

“If you’re a retailer looking at where growth is going to come from then China is hugely important.”

Nearly 110,000 Chinese tourists came to the UK last year, representing an annual increase of 23 per cent.

This was overshadowed by the increase in spending that Chinese tourists engaged in, which rose by 57 per cent, with the trend expected to continue due to the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games.

A spokesman for Selfridges told the paper: “Chinese customers are of growing importance to Selfridges, have been for the past four to five years and will remain so in the foreseeable future.”

Many more Chinese travellers may be lured into central London hotels to attend the Chinese New Year festivities on January 29th, which are said to be the world’s largest celebrations outside of China.

The capital will play host to traditional dances, performances, food markets and stalls selling traditional goods.

Celebrations will be ushered in with a ceremony in Trafalgar Square with special guests including London mayor Boris Johnson and China’s ambassador.

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