Students from China and Hong Kong are spurring London’s economy.
According to Global Blue, tax-free spending by customers from those countries rose 10 percent year-on-year in September, reports Women’s Wear Daily. This was the highest increase in spending by Chinese and Hong Kong customers in the past six months.
The spending growth was attributed to the families of students from Hong Kong and China coming to the UK to help their children settle in at British schools and universities. According to the UK’s University and College Admissions Service, the number of international students admitted to British universities in 2014 rose 7 percent. Chinese made up 26 percent of those international students.
London universities are particularly popular with Chinese students. In 2013, more than 2,300 students enrolled at University College London were Chinese. At the London School of Economics, over 1,000 students were from China.
On average, visitors from Hong Kong and China spent $1,075 or £668. The students’ families buy “all the necessities to set students up for the academic year in their new homes.” They often then spend additional money on fashion items or accessories for themselves.
The chairman of the London Luxury Quarter, Mark Henderson, said, “one watch or bag in a store and [return] with their families who later spend millions on bespoke items, whilst staying in nearby five star hotels.” He added, “there is scope for longer term economic value as these individuals are more likely to choose the area when planning to buy a property or invest in London.”
image credit: flickr/steve evans