Fact SheetHilton History
Read the news
By Property TypeBy Topic
Get the facts
Hilton HuanyingHilton Blue Papers and Research
- Photos & videos
Let us help you
Media Accommodation Request FormContact Us
Jacqueline ToppingsCONTACTMedia Inquiries ADDRESS7930 Jones Branch Drive
Brand Public Relations,
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
McLean, Virginia 22102
New Report Outlines UK Travel Industry’s Multi-Million £ Opportunity
Study shows relaxation of visa controls, attention to customer service and embracing social media needed to attract a larger share of lucrative market
October 19, 2011
LONDON and MCLEAN, Va. - A new report from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, identifies UK actions needed to attract a bigger share of the lucrative in-bound Chinese tourism market. Of an estimated 3 million Chinese visitor trips to Europe in 2010, only around 127,000 came to the UK. With numbers predicted to rise to 240,000 by 2014 1, the UK is lagging behind its European neighbours Italy, France and Germany, which are currently attracting between 500,000 and 700,000 Chinese visitors each per year.
More travellers to Europe come from China than any other country in Asia. It is estimated that Chinese travellers will spend £34.8 billion in Europe in 2011, a rise of 14.6 percent over the previous year and on track to reach more than £60 billion in total by 2015. The current government target is to increase in-bound tourism revenue by 5 percent over the next 10 years; being aggressive in attracting the Chinese is one of the biggest opportunities for growth.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive, VisitBritain said: "Chinese visitor numbers to the UK have been steadily rising over the last few years, but we can clearly do more to attract an even greater number. China has a rich cultural heritage of its own and according to the latest Nations Brand Index, now has a far better understanding of British culture, our people and what they can experience when they are here. We must build on this and ensure the industry develops products that meet the needs, tastes and desires of Chinese travellers."
The Chinese spend an average total spend of £202 per night, and can spend more than £600 in one shopping trip, which is on average more than Russian, Arab or Japanese travellers2,. British luxury fashion house Burberry has reported that 30 percent of the sales in its UK stores were to Chinese customers and a recent report from London Luxury stated that Chinese shoppers spent £200 million in the Bond Street area alone in 2010, an increase of 155 percent on 2009.
"If we could increase the appeal of Britain - in line with where our European competitors are right now - this would help generate nearly £1 billion from Chinese visitors every year." Dawe continued.
The report, entitled 'How the Rise in Chinese Tourism will Change the Face of the European Travel Industry', identified a number of reasons:
- Ease: The UK is not part of the Schengen agreement and therefore visa applications are more difficult; additionally the UK has not embraced payments from China Union Pay (only Harrods & Selfridges have terminals).
- Location: Within China, visiting multiple countries on a trip is held in high regard. It takes more time to reach the UK compared to travelling between multiple countries in mainland Europe during a single trip.
The report also identifies areas where the entire European travel industry can improve to reach the growing in-bound Chinese travellers:
- Be vigorous about customer service; it plays a big part in the Chinese visitor experience.
- Improve services and amenities tailored for Chinese guests, such as translating websites and signage into Chinese and employing fluent Mandarin speakers to interact with guests and visitors.
- Embrace social media and implement marketing strategies that attract Chinese travellers and increase brand awareness. There is a growing trend for more individual travellers who need to be targeted directly rather than through tour operators.
Tourism Minister John Penrose said: "We are living in exciting times for the UK tourism industry with new markets opening up and brilliant opportunities arising to promote the country to them. Chinese visitors in particular will play an especially important part in growing our industry. So I commend initiatives like Hilton Huanying and the research commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts from the School of Oriental and African Studies - the more we understand what our new customers want and expect, the better able we will be to offer them a warm welcome and a rewarding experience when they come to the UK."
Earlier this year, Hilton introduced Hilton Huanying, a programme taking its name from the Chinese word for welcome and tailored to meet the needs of Chinese travellers. Any hotel within Hilton Worldwide's 10 brands can participate in the program that includes front desk team members fluent in Mandarin, traditional Chinese breakfast items, and in room items such as a welcome letter in Chinese, a selection of Chinese teas, slippers and Chinese television programming. Hilton also recently launched a Chinese version of its Hilton Global Media Center, an online pressroom to engage traditional media across China.
Dave Horton, global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said: "China is a key focus for our business. We've already introduced Hilton Huanying for our Chinese guests and are actively marketing our European hotels within China. This report has highlighted a number of things that, as an industry, we can do immediately as well as some areas that we need the government to start examining. If our industry is serious about gaining a 5 percent growth in the UK then we have to start taking action now."
Kevin Latham, senior lecturer at SOAS and author of the report, added: "If the key suggestions in the report are taken seriously, carefully implemented and followed through by all the relevant players, then the potential for a fundamental transformation of European tourism exists with an opportunity for the UK to seize a larger share of this lucrative market."
To view a summary and full version of the 'How The Rise in Chinese Tourism will Change the Face of the European Travel Industry' report, other Hilton Blue Papers or to learn more about Hilton Huanying, visit www.hiltonglobalmediacenter.com.
2 Moore 2011 / CB Richard Ellis consultancy
3 Based on official Chinese figures from CNTA of 2.335 million visitors to Europe in 2010
4 Based on average spend on £202 per night (ITB 2011:17) and average 1 week stay
Guy Martaurano / Gemma O'Hara
Golley Slater (for Hilton)
+ 020 7255 6400
John Forrest Ales
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
+1 703 883 5215
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi, and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,200 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.