Today, figures from the Barclays’ Tourist Dynamics report 2014 was revealed. According to the report, tourists will spend over £27 billion in the UK in 2017, an increase of 34% on 2013. Amongst the top spenders are visitiors from America, UAE and Switzerland. The report found that in particular Chinese tourism in the UK is expected to grow by 84%, with visitors spending up to £1bn a year in the UK by 2017. This is due to the UK Government vowing to ‘streamline and simplify’ the visa application process for tens of thousands of Chinese visitors.
Chinese Tourism Rise due to simplification of the Visa Application Process
The UK is expected to see a strong growth in Chinese tourism spending thanks to the simplification of the visa application process. The head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, Richard Lowe, commented:
“As George Osborne said, there should be no limit to the number of Chinese tourists who can visit. There’s a number of plans being put in place to allow that to happen and it’s important that those are followed through and as many Chinese visas who want visas do get them and can come and support the UK economy”
In October 2013, Chancellor George Osborne announced a 24-hour ‘super priority’ visa service for Chinese business visitors. The UK Government is looking to expand the highly successful VIP mobile visa service, which is currently operating in Beijing and Shanghai, to the whole country.
Cultural Heritage throughout the UK is attractive to Chinese visitors
The Telegraph campaigned for ten months to simplify the visa rules for Chinese visitors. The previous scheme, required Chinese tourists to to have their fingerprints taken, pay higher fees and going through a lengthy application process. According to Mr Lowe, it is the cultural heritage throughout the UK that is attractive to Chinese visitors.
“We’re seeing a number of Chinese visitors in places like Scotland and the north west. This is not a regional play or a capital city play”, he said.
By 2017, China’s tourists (1.01bn) will be fifth on the list of countries that spend the most in the UK, behind the US (£2.92bn), France (1.79bn), Germany (1.66bn) and Australia (1.35bn).
Successful UK Visa Applications for Chinese Visitors & Businessmen
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