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East of England’s leisure and hospitality businesses set for boost from Chinese and Brazilian visitors

PUBLISHED: 09:53 06 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:03 09 May 2014

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holkham

British Tourist Authority

Tourism leisure and hospitality businesses in the East of England are set to be boosted by the ‘red’ pound as a new report predicts a surge in affluent Chinese visitors to the region.

Top overseas spenders in 2013 and projections for 2017

2013

1 USA £89m 10.2pc

2 France £82m 9.4pc

3 Germany £62m 7.2pc

4 Australia £44m 5.0pc

5 China £43m 4.9pc

6 Netherlands £34m 3.9pc

7 Ireland £33m 3.8pc

8 Canada £31m 3.6pc

9 Spain £31m 3.5pc

10 Italy £29m 3.3pc

2017

1 USA £116m 10.0pc

2 France £91m 7.8pc

3 China £77m 6.6pc

4 Germany £72m 6.2pc

5 Australia £61m 5.2pc

6 Netherlands £36m 3.1pc

7 Canada £35m 3.0pc

8 Brazil £33m 2.9pc

9 Ireland £32m 2.8pc

10 Spain £31m 2.7pc

A report by Barclays predicted that overseas visitors flocking to the region will be spending more in shops, restaurants and trips out.

Visitors from the US currently spend the most in the region, followed by France and Germany.

But by 2017 this spending pattern will change when it is predicted that China will take over third place from Germany.

The growing wealth of China’s burgeoning middle class is thought likely to be behind the predicted phenomena, with visitors expected to spend more than £77m in 2017.

The study also suggests that Brazilian tourists will enter the top ten spenders’ league table, as they are predicted to spend £33m, with Italy set to drop out of the list.

Total spending by foreign tourists is set to increase by 33pc from last year to £1.1bn, according to the research.

Jane Galvin, managing director, corporate banking at Barclays eastern region, said: “From its picturesque villages and market towns, to the sandy beaches along the coast, the East of England boasts an abundance of popular leisure destinations and shopping centres across the region.

“Opportunities abound for both retailers and the leisure industry to capitalise on these growing tourist numbers and spend.

Pete Waters, brand manager at Visit Norfolk, said: “We’ve seen on a recent trip by Chinese group travel operators that they were hugely impressed by Norfolk’s heritage and history, particularly Sandringham, and the retail offering of Norwich, but a lack of awareness of the county is our biggest challenge.

“It’s one thing to have a superb tourism infrastructure, as we undoubtedly have, but we need to engage with potential audiences and make ourselves more top of mind.

“If we don’t, they will go to areas that are investing more in marketing and promotion.

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