The UK eagerly awaits the return of the Chinese market

Tower of London

All markets are facing new challenges bought by the pandemic. The UK eagerly awaits the return of the Chinese market who pre pandemic were one of the largest visitor numbers to the UK.

Everyone in travel has been surprised at the bounce back of business from all markets and the lastminute booking patterns. The Chinese market is the last to return, having been able to travel since April 2023 (but caution – whilst Europe have no COVID regulation, the Chinese still have to isolate on their return for 2 weeks). After 3 years in lockdown they are so eager to travel and the UK is still a popular destination but we still have issues – the VAT reclaim system means we lose a lot of tourists, if we had quicker and cheaper visa options, if we have more language skills in our tourism companies.

China have their own challenges – having lost so many experienced staff in lockdown they have staffing issues, prices have soared especially flights (global fuel price increases, the Russia/Ukraine war means the planes cannot fly over Russia). Late bookings, fear of the welcome – much of this will be influenced by social media which is so important in this market so its going to be interesting watch the market recover.

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