Chinese tourist spending soars during Golden Week
Written by Peter Walker
New data from Alipay has shown that the average Chinese tourist spent 15 per cent more during Golden Week 2019 - October 1 to 7 - than in 2018.
Chinese shoppers each spent an average of £485 with Alipay alone when travelling in the UK during the Chinese national holiday.
The UK was the most popular country in Europe for shopping among Chinese tourists during Golden Week, ahead of Germany, France and Italy. Total transaction volumes in the UK during the period increased 70 per cent year-on-year.
Chinese supermarkets, outlet centres such as Bicester Village, and department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, proved to be the most popular UK shopping destinations for Chinese visitors.
Data from Fliggy - Alibaba’s travel service platform - also revealed the number of Chinese tourists booking trips to the UK for Golden Week 2019 increased by 40 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Roland Palmer, head of Alipay in the UK, France, Netherlands and Nordics, said: “Conditions have never been tougher for retailers, with many big household names struggling to stay afloat or shutting up shop altogether.
“However, outbound Chinese tourists present a significant opportunity for UK retailers and it is encouraging to see that European destinations and products are still hugely popular with Chinese visitors,” he added.
The number of Alipay users in 2019 is more than double what it was last year, while the number of UK merchants offering Alipay has more than tripled in the past year.
Two years ago, Alipay in the UK was mainly present at large department stores in London, but today merchants of all types and sizes across the country offer the mobile payment solution, noted Palmer.
Deb Bee, group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols, said: “By offering our Chinese customers a unique shopping experience and exclusive Alipay-only discounts, we have seen an increase in sales across our luxury fashion and beauty categories.”
Golden Week, a Chinese national holiday, traditionally sees millions of Chinese tourists travel and shop abroad, providing retailers with a prime opportunity to increase sales. More than 300,000 merchants in 55 countries and regions participated in Alipay’s Golden Week campaign this year.