Switzerland and the UK, increasingly attracting wealthy Chinese
In 2012, Switzerland reports an increase of 25% in Chinese travellers compared to 2011, totalling 600,000 or 830,000-840,000 according to the Swiss Tourism Authority, estimating that the number of Chinese travellers to Switzerland will quadruple in the next 10 years. The most popular Swiss destinations for the Chinese are Lucerne, Interlaken, Zurich and Geneva. The watch industry is one of the main beneficiaries of this Chinese boom, according to consultants KPMG. Many Chinese tourists prefer to buy luxury watches here because they know they won’t be buying an imitation
At London’s Heathrow, Chinese account for 25% of total luxury spend at the airport despite being less than 1% of total travellers, according to the Retail Director of Heathrow Airport. Joining Amsterdam’s Schiphol and Los Angeles’s LAX airports, London’s Heathrow is also gearing up for Chinese New Year celebrations, with a series of events including traditional Chinese music, dragon dancing, festive food sampling and taster classes in the art of Zhezhi (paper designs).