Published on : Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Chinese outbound tourists have washed over destinations such as France and the United States, but they are yet to fully capitalize on the UK tourism market. Despite widespread interest — bordering on obsession between some urban Chinese — in Britain, a protracted back-and-forth over the country’s visa policy continues to limit Chinese entries.
Presently, it is estimated that British tourism and retail organizations is losing some £1.2 billion (US$1.9 billion) a year from Chinese tourists who travel elsewhere due to visa red tape.
VisitBritain pointed out that about 61% of the Chinese tourists decided not to visit the UK did because the visa process frustrated them.
VisitBritain however has estimated a projected 113# increase in the number of Chinese travellers (excluding Hong Kong) over the next eight years – thanks to the outbound travel growth. Also, by 2020, the UK will see the footfall of around 300,000 Chinese tourists.
In an effort to bring in more Europe-bound Chinese tourists, the UK is now mulling over a new plan to streamline its visa application process. As per the reports, a proposal was submitted to the UK Border Agency involving an idea for “dual processing” of British and Schengen applications. As a proposed part of the new visa rule, Chinese applicants would only have to submit a single form to receive both UK and Schengen visas.