With the British pound plummeting in value after the United Kingdom’s shock decision to leave the European Union, tourists in Shanghai are making the best of the situation and snapping up package holidays to Britain.
According to Shanghai Daily, travel companies in Shanghai reported a surging in bookings after the results of the referendum were announced, with many also looking to buy the pound as well.
Shanghai Spring Tour revealed that almost all their tour packages to the UK had sold out for the summer. Online travel operator Ctrip also said it noticed a jump in clicks on its website for tours to UK.
For Chinese tourists, who love nothing more than an excursion abroad to soak up some culture and splash out on luxury goods, the recent fall in the value of sterling represents as much as a 10 percent discount on all spending in the UK.
Ctrip said the new two-year multiple entry visa policy implemented by Britain has also helped attract the Chinese travelers.
“I was thinking of a holiday destination because my 13-year-old daughter will have her summer vacation soon. I had almost decided on Japan but now I think Britain may be a good idea because it may be cheaper,” said Cherry Xiao.
The paper also noted that Japan, which had previously been a favorite destination for Chinese tourists, may lose some of its popularity. As speculators sell the pound and buy up the yen, the rising cost of travel to Japan could dissuade some from making the trip.
Last year China’s outbound tourists spent almost 1.2 trillion yuan ($183 billion) on shopping sprees abroad, buying up nearly half the world’s luxury goods in the process.