Brexit uncertainty is failing to deter the Chinese from travelling to Europe in greater numbers to celebrate their new year this week.

Bookings to European Union destinations are ahead 9.2% compared to this time last year, according to latest findings from ForwardKeys which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million booking transactions a day.

The increase in visitors is well above the global average, which is 0.2% up on 2018.

Chinese tourists appear to be undeterred by the relative slow-down in the Chinese economy and concerns about the effects of Brexit.

ForwardKeys’ analysis of trip duration patterns shows two distinct types of holiday – travellers either celebrate new year with an extended visit to the EU, or they take an off-peak trip and head back to China for local celebrations during Golden Week.

The company’s insights vice president Olivier Ponti said: “Chinese tourists clearly still have Europe at the top of their favourite long-haul destinations.

“The marketing initiatives to bring them here have been impressive and they’re paying off.

“So far neither the Chinese economy slow down, nor Brexit, have been a deterrent so it’s fair to say that Europe’s travel industry is set to celebrate Chinese New Year.”

VisitBritain predicts Chinese visitor numbers across the UK will rise by almost half over the next five years.