WITH the Chinese New Year having just been ushered in with celebrations all across the Spain, the 2014 Year of the Horse saw a record number of Chinese tourists visiting the country.
Nearly 300,000 Chinese visitors came to Spain last year – up 13.9 per cent on the previous year – and the latest data shows that they have been spending big too.
According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, Chinese tourists leaned towards city breaks rather than seaside vacations, and Madrid saw a massive 46 per cent rise in Chinese tourism in 2014.
According to reports, Chinese tourists were responsible for much of Spain’s tourism-related revenue between April and September last year, and have now jumped ahead of the Russians as the biggest spenders in Spain.
2015 is the Year of the Goat and Spanish tourism bodies, restaurants and hotels are confident that Chinese tourism to the country will continue to grow, with many businesses offering tax deductions for shopping and apps designed specifically for Chinese tourists.