4) Market Size / Share Current & Forecast Market Size Global Insight estimates that there were almost 16 million outbound overnight visits from China in 2004. By 2010, this is forecast to be almost 31 million – a growth of 93%. The WTO forecast that outbound travel could reach 100 million visits by 2020. UK currently accounts for 0.6% of all outbound trips from China – and this percentage is likely to be the same in 2010. Current Volume and Value Statistics / Trends IPS 2003 2004 Change year on year Total Visits 68,000 95,000 +41% Visits Rank (League Table No. Outside top 30 rankings Visitors to UK) Total Spend £127m £131m +3% Spend Rank 22 24 Down 2 places (League Table £ Spend in UK) Average Spend £1,876 £1,371 -27% per Visit (AEV) AEV Rank 4 5 Down 1 place Average Spend £72 £60 -17% per Day (AED) AED Rank 18 26 Down 8 places Note: The expenditure figures for China have to be read with caution, as the sample size is quite small for this market. 2004 was the best ever-recorded year for visits and spends from China. Key Competitor Destinations – actual Global Tourism Navigator shows us that the UK was 16th in the actual ranking of top destinations (short and long haul included) for Chinese outbound travel in 2004. Asia, Hong Kong, Macao and Thailand attract most of the tourists from Mainland China. 1 Hong Kong 6 Singapore 2 Macau 7 Russia 3 Thailand 8 South Korea 4 Vietnam 9 Japan 5 Italy 10 Malaysia 16 United Kingdom Key Competitor Destinations - aspirational According to the Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index (Wave 3 2005), which surveys a representative n=1000 sample of the online population in China, the UK is ranked 4th out of 24 (i.e. not all potential are asked about) destinations that would be likely for a leisure visit “if money were no object”. 1 France 6 Switzerland 2 United States 7 Canada 3 Germany 8 Italy 4 UK 9 Sweden 5 Australia 10 South Korea Competition from other European destinations remains strong. According to VB intelligence, France and Italy get the lion’s share of China’s Europe bound market. Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland are all highly visible in the market. Switzerland will start to issue Schengen visa by 2008 at the latest. Many East European destinations offer new and cheaper alternatives. 5) Market Shape / Dynamics www.visitbritain.com/ukindustry Purpose of Visit The biggest proportion of Chinese visitors come to the UK for Business (38%). However, the business share has declined from 57% in 1999 to 38% in 2004, whereas the proportion of holiday visitors has increased from 16% in 1999 to 23% in 2004. We must bear in mind that IPS figures on “purpose” for China may be misleading. This is due to the fact that until January 2005, there was no ADS agreement in place to allow holiday travel to the UK. Specifically, those stating a business purpose are equally likely to have had some holiday element to the visit. VisitBritain’s Online Best Prospects research (2005), found that three-quarters of best prospects (those already planning or very likely to visit) were interested in visiting Britain for a holiday and now that ADS is signed it will be possible to travel in this way. There is more on business visits specifically in section 12 of this document. 21% of Chinese visitors are VFR visitors. The 2001 census found that there were 51,717 UK residents who had been born in China – an increase of 117% on the 1991 census. These residents are most likely to be found in London, the South East and the North West of England. In 2004, 15% of Chinese visitors visited the UK for study. This proportion represented only 3% in 1999. Although long-term study is not counted in tourism statistics by IPS, this can be an important source market for VFR visits. In 2004, UCAS had 39,445 Chinese applicants for degree courses (of which 6324 were accepted – making China the largest source market for UK overseas higher education students). The most popular subjects taken in 2004 were: Business & Administration, Engineering and Mathematics. The FCO estimate that 32,000 Chinese students are currently undertaking some form of study in UK.
5) Market Shape / Dynamics continued Length of Stay Seasonal Spread CHINA Overall, 28% of Chinese visitors stay in the UK for 15 nights or more and 24% for 8-14 nights. Three-quarters of study visitors stay 15 nights or more. The length of stay of holiday visitors is much shorter - 37% of them stay for 1-3 nights. Regional Spread 98% of Chinese visitors stayed in England, 64% in London, 12% in Scotland and 3% in Wales in 2004 (IPS). In the Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index Wave 3 2005, we asked 1000 Chinese participants how well they felt they knew the regions of Britain – giving a score of 1-7 and taking into account any of the ways they had learned or heard about each region. 1 = never heard of the region and 7 = know the region very well. Chinese participants were significantly more likely to be aware of London than any of the other regions – including the concept of Great Britain overall. Awareness of other parts of England, and of Scotland was similar. Chinese were least aware of Wales as a region of Britain. According to IPS, two thirds of Chinese residents visit in the last 6 months of the year. The periods July-September and October-December each account for about one third of holiday visits. The most popular period for VFR visitors is October-December (41%). Accommodation Type Wales Scotland England (Other) England (London) Britain Overall 4.26 4.58 4.62 4.84 5.23 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 The majority of participants in this online survey had NOT visited Britain previously, but looking at the 240 Chinese who had ever visited Britain, the scores for each region do increase (although none significantly). In VisitBritain’s Online Best Prospects research (2005), we asked our best prospects about their levels of interest in visiting different areas of Britain: London, England outside of London, Scotland and Wales. London was hugely popular relative to the rest of the country, which may suggest that London is almost synonymous with Britain as a destination for the Chinese. Scotland was slightly more attractive than Wales and other parts of England. Hotel and guesthouse are Chinese visitors’ most popular type of accommodation - 60% stayed in a Hotel/guesthouse in 2004, but this accounted for only 15% of nights spent in total. Only 8% of Chinese visitors stayed at a hostel/University/School but it represents 42% of all nights spent in the UK as study visitors stay for such a long time. Around 80% of Holiday and Business visitors stay at a Hotel or Guesthouse. 88% of VFR visitors stay as free guests but 47% stay at a Hotel or Guesthouse, suggesting that some Chinese visitors make use of both types of accommodation.