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Retailers in the UK can expect £600 million[1]to flood the high street during Chinese Golden Week 2015, announces Sage Pay.The payments experts believe this year will bring an 18 percent increase in spending, which is consistent in terms of the growth of spending over Golden Week for the previous two years. This is all in spite of China’s reportedly gloomy economic climate.

The payments expert has also used year on year comparisons to predict fortune for high streets as 250,000[2] Chinese shoppers are expected to descend on the UK.

Originally a public holiday intended to increase domestic spend in China, Golden Week is now a common time for Chinese residents to travel overseas, and London is an increasingly popular choice of destination. Luxury goods, high-end fashion and “quintessentially British” merchandise tend to attract the most shoppers during Golden Week, making Chinese tourists some of the biggest spenders with UK businesses.

Sage Pay, a supporter of small and medium business, is helping customers position themselves for success this year by partnering with MoneySwap. The agreement enables high street businesses to accept UnionPay (formerly China UnionPay) transactions securely and speedily. This means small businesses are now able to easily accept and process foreign currency, a benefit that was previously enjoyed by their larger counterparts.

“China has experienced double-digit growth consistently over the past decade. Yes, we’ve seen a decline but it’s just to a more reasonable, pragmatic level,” said MoneySwap’s Managing Director,Pete Casale.

A recent study by the World Tourism Organisation and IDN found that the acceptance of UnionPay is the highest favoured customisation service voted by Chinese tourists (58 percent), ahead of Chinese speaking staff and translated maps and guides.

“Golden Week brings a huge amount of income to London-based retailers, but it’s not just the big enterprises who can benefit,” said Sean Wilson, acting Managing Director of Sage Pay. “Small businesses ought to ready themselves for the arrival of Chinese tourists too. This is a chance for SMEs to compete with the big guys and there’s no reason why they can’t benefit from Golden Week too.”

Furthermore, Sage Pay has developed a set of online materials to support both small business and shoppers during Golden Week. For businesses, these materials can help provide a better understanding of Chinese shoppers and pave the way to turn them into loyal customers. To learn more about these materials, please visit http://www.engage.sagepay.com/golden-week-2015.

[1]Estimated spend during GoldenWeek was calculated by applying an increase of 18% year-over-year to a reported spend of £500 million as quoted by sources last year. This percentage growth is based on the increased spend over the past two years as well as the growth of transactions from UnionPay data.

[2] Based on numbers reported by the Daily Mail from October 9, 2014.