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Chinese tourists set to spend big in US and UK

Chinese tourists set to spend big in US and UK

Money transfer companies may soon see an influx of business from globe trotting Chinese tourists, as the country's population increasingly takes to overseas travel.

According to travel and tourism experts at Thoughtful China, 66 million Chinese people will travel overseas this year, representing a 15 per cent increase over 2010.

The country will eventually account for 100 million global travellers by 2020, according to the World Tourism Organisation.

Pierre Gervois, president and chief executive of China Elite Focus, which specialises in affluent Chinese outbound tourism, said the rising number "will completely change the face of tourism".

He went on to reveal that the biggest tourism hotspots for the Chinese are New York and Las Vegas as well as the UK, adding: "British luxury brands are doing very well on the Chinese market."

Travel experts in China point out that a decade ago few of its citizens ventured further than Hong Kong, while today the country is the world's third-largest spender on international tourism, just behind Germany and the US.

However, Western airlines, hotels, restaurants and luxury retailers in the US and Europe are ill prepared for the influx of tourists.

"The West is not as prepared as it could be," commented Bruce Ryde, general manager of InterContinental Hotels' Hotel Indigo Shanghai. "When it comes to menus, hotel information, and just general conversation, there needs to be more work done."

PT Black, Thoughtful China's senior creative director added: "If a hotel can provide Americans with a hamburger in Hanoi, then Chinese should get noodles in Nice."

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