UK Chinese marketing conference to debut as Chinese luxe spending surges

With Chinese nationals spending more than ever on luxury and fashion goods in the UK, next week will see a new conference debuting in London that aims to get to grips with the task of marketing to these high-net-worth consumers.


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Organised by Poland’s M2C, the event takes place on June 5 and 6 at the Conference Room at Regents Park, and the organiser said that Chinese tourist spending in the UK is predicted to surge this year, with further increases to come. 

Tourist body Visit Britain expects a 43% increase in Chinese tourists coming to the UK in 2019, staying on average 19 nights and spending £1 billion in total. 

Expedia has also said that in Q1, there was growth in UK visit interest by Chinese travellers with that interest being spread across the country (and especially focused on key shopping cities), driven by growing wealth in China and a perceived welcoming environment in Britain.

The US trade war has seen America fall from fifth most popular destination for overseas holidays for Chinese travellers to ninth, according to China’s biggest travel agent CTrip. Meanwhile, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have seen falls after banning Huawei 5G technology.

The UK is the only major Western power to give the green light to Huawei 5G technology and, with Italy, is a rarity among G7 nations by approving China’s strategic Belt and Road economic development plan.

These factors, plus a positive feeling towards British heritage and culture, and the falling UK pound have also helped the UK become the favourite destination for overseas study among the wealthy Chinese student demographic. 

According to the latest research by China’s largest international student placement agency Kai Tak, the next generation of students now have the UK as their number one pick.

As far as the luxury and fashion sectors are concerned, it’s worth noting that the majority of Chinese visitors are affluent Millennials and the peak time for visits to the UK is July to September.

But reaching them means understanding what they’re looking for. Domenica Di Lieto, CEO of Chinese marketing consultancy, Emerging Communications, which is working with M2C, said: “There is a belief among many retailers that Chinese consumers live in a simpler commercial world when reality could not be more different. Chinese tourists instantly identify lack of understanding and marketing commitment when they see it, and they see it a lot from UK retailers and brands. 

“Marketing intertwined with mobile payment systems in China are years ahead of elsewhere, and an increasing number of British retailers understand this, but there is still a lot of work to do to effectively engage with the Chinese tourist market.”

The conference, which will be the UK’s first specific Chinese marketing event, will feature speakers including Ashley Galina Dudarenok, the founder of resources platform ChoZan who’s the most viewed Chinese marketing vlogger, a member of the Alibaba 2017 Global Influencer Entourage, and a regular TEDx speaker. 

China mobile technology specialist Matthew Brennan and Di Lieto will also be speaking.

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