Latest News:  
Beijing   Cloudy    26 / 16 ℃  City Forecast

English>>China Business

UK targets China's big spenders

By Zhang Chunyan and Cecily Liu (China Daily)

08:09, October 11, 2012

Tourism chiefs in the United Kingdom are introducing new initiatives to attract high-spending Chinese tourists, including facilitating UK visas and organizing the largest-ever British tourism mission to China.

A new visa proposal involving the "dual processing" of British and Schengen applications — referring to the 26 European countries signed up to the Schengen visa agreement — was presented to the UK Border Agency on Monday.

A single Schengen visa covers parts of Eastern Europe and all of Western Europe, including France and Germany. Britain has so far refused to join the Schengen system due to national security concerns.

Under the terms of the proposal, Chinese applicants will only have to submit one form and one set of documents in order to receive two visas, allowing them to visit the UK and parts of Europe on the same trip.

Walpole, a consortium of luxury brands, and the New West End Company, which represents top London stores, met the agency to discuss the issue.

"The new visa plan is very necessary. The applications will still be processed twice, ensuring that the UK border regime is still strong, but two visas will be issued at the same time," said Julia Carrick, chief executive of Walpole British Luxury.

Tourism and retail bosses estimate that the UK misses out on 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) from wealthy Chinese visitors a year as a result of Britain's bureaucratic system.

"France currently attracts eight times more Chinese visitors than the UK. Harmonizing the visa system should lead to the UK performing as well as France," Carrick said.

Research from VisitBritain, the national tourist body, indicates that 61 percent of Chinese people who chose not to come to Britain were put off by the difficulties of the visa process.

Carrick said if the plan is not introduced, "Britain will still welcome increasing numbers of Chinese visitors because of the growing numbers of Chinese travelers. But we will continue to underperform compared with other major European countries".

She added: "We understand that the UK Border Agency agrees with the principle of moving to a more harmonized system for visa applications. The issue will be about the practicalities of introducing such a system and the time frame for doing so."

Stephen Boxall, managing director of The Ritz London, said: "Should the Home Office wisely revise the current legislation regarding UK visas to streamline the process by which Chinese passport holders are able to travel to the UK, we would expect to see a significant uplift in revenue, both in the hospitality industry and across all retail industries.

"As the first hotel in the UK to install China UnionPay terminals and launch a series of bespoke amenities for our Chinese guests, at The Ritz we have long understood the importance of this market to British tourism and unreservedly endorse the proposed revision to procedures by the Home Office."

【1】 【2】 【3】

News we recommend:
Let the train, take the strain Personal care market to keep growing An Apple a day isn't keeping critics away
Global companies expand rapidly in China Shanghai's 'other' market China's tourism industry reaps golden harvest
Commentary:Asking the right questions  More Investment, More Woes? All that glitters is gold


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Fighters conduct low-altitude flight training

  2. The oddest animal rights protests

  3. Ice train begins trial operations

  4. Changes in transportation

  5. Yue Min Jun “The Tao of Laughter”

  6. Witness miracles!LuChen in South Korea

Most Popular


  1. Maintaining multiple perspectives on China
  2. Commentary: Does China need to buy more gold?
  3. Overcrowded holidays call for gov't management
  4. Editorial: US accusations politicized
  5. Allure of literature prize strong for China
  6. New road rule marks first step to orderly society
  7. Romney's post-debate bounce could soon fade
  8. War with Syria would be great mistake for Turkey
  9. Why being a runt can be an advantage
  10. Govt aid needed for solar firms to survive

What's happening in China

Bike rental starts off in low gear

  1. Wrongly institutionalized demand fairer diagnoses
  2. 40% in city lose sleep over stress
  3. Poisoned German sailor rescued off E China
  4. 'Red Song' detention appealed
  5. Fairer system to give hope to organ seekers

China Features

  1. Can 'Golden Week' be more relaxing?
  2. 'Gangnam Style' receives criticism
  3. Mid-Autumn Festival is more than mooncakes
  4. Oregon official: We welcome Chinese investors
  5. Mid-Autumn Festival Keywords

PD Online Data

  1. Ministry of Water Resources
  2. Ministry of Railways
  3. People's Bank of China
  4. Ministry of Health
  5. Ministry of Culture