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Wealthy Chinese head to London

News, 30 January 2017
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BEIJING/LONDON: More than 6m Chinese are expected to travel abroad during the Spring Festival, with the UK among the top destinations for wealthy consumers keen to escape the country's pollution and tap into their love of British brands.

The Hurun Research Institute's recently published UK Luxury Brands in China report, based on a survey of 449 Mainland Chinese millionaires (individuals with a personal wealth of RMB 10m, equivalent to US$1.4m), revealed that the UK had risen four places to sixth in the ranking of travel destination choices.

"The drop in the pound post-Brexit certainly helped the UK become a preferred travel destination," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher for Hurun Report.

When they get there, the Harrods department store is a favourite choice for shopping, winning Hurun's title of Best London Luxury Shopping Destination for the fourth year running.

Or they may be heading to nearby Christies, rated the Best International Auction House. "The appetite for collecting by Chinese luxury consumers bounced back 10% this year, Hoogewerf noted.

Top-end British vehicle marques are also popular: the Rolls-Royce Ghost won Best Super Luxury Executive Car, followed by the Bentley Mulsanne, while the Aston Martin DB11 won Super Car Best New Arrival, the Jaguar XFL won Executive Car Star Performer and Range Rover won Best Luxury SUV.

Property may also be on the shopping list: "We find that the wealthier buyers are more likely to combine property hunting with tourism during Chinese New Year," Charles Pittar, chief executive of property website Juawi.com, told the Financial Times.

Hurun ranked London 14th in its list of preferred cities for Chinese to buy residential property; the US led the way with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

According to online travel company Ctrip, Chinese travellers will visit a total of 174 overseas destinations during the holiday period, with short-haul destinations like Thailand, South Korea and Japan being the most popular. And they will spend more than $14bn.

Data sourced from Hurun Report, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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