OXFORD is one of the top hotspots for Chinese tourists visiting Britain, according to a recent survey.

A Visit Britain report found an average of 13,000 Chinese tourists visited the city annually over the past 12 years and suggested the royals, Harry Potter and Premier League football were their main reasons to visit the UK.

More than 250,000 holidaymakers from China spent more than half a billion pounds in the UK last year and these figures are expected to grow sharply, fuelled by growing middle and affluent classes.

Visit Britain said Chinese tourists rate Britain highly for both its heritage and contemporary culture with a particular focus on museums and films.

The report said: “They are mostly interested in symbolic elements: the Royal Family, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and Downton Abbey.

“The Chinese outbound market is booming: visits abroad more than doubled in five years, from about 41m overnight stays in 2011 to 85m in 2016. By 2020, it is forecast to exceed 110m trips overseas.”

Oxfordshire has become known across the world for its regular appearances on screen in films and dramas, which include attractions from Harry Potter such as Christ Church, Downton Abbey filming locations in Bampton and across the Cotswolds, as well as Sherlock Holmes in various locations including Oxford’s Radcliffe Square.

Another attraction that peaked tourists' interest in last year was the village of Kidlington and its increasingly baffled residents.

Coachloads of Chinese tourists flocked to the Oxfordshire village to stop off for tours around various neighbourhoods.

The sudden interest in Kidlington confused residents, who often found hoardes of tourists taking pictures and selfies in their front gardens.The influx even led some residents to make complaints to police about tourists coming onto their land, as well as coaches left on the side of their roads.

Tony Bennell, 72, who lives in the village, said: “As long as it’s Oxford city centre then I think the Chinese tourists are a good thing. The local economy will benefit from them spending money in businesses and shops.

“The problem we had was they were being dropped off for half an hour or so and not doing anything but take pictures.”

He added: “As long as it’s done in the right way, I think it’s a positive thing for the area.”

The Visit Britain report also named the top destinations for visitors from China which included London in the number one spot with 144,000 visitors annually.

London was followed by Edinburgh (35,000), Manchester (23,000) and Cambridge (14,000) and Oxford (13,000).