09 February 2011

Chinese tourists to Britain deterred by UK Visa requirement

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Britain is expecting an influx of Chinese tourists in the next few years, the national tourism body VisitBritain has said.

UK Visa

Affluent Chinese tourists are being detered from travelling because of the UK Visa requirement.

VisitBritain says visits to the country are predicted to more than double by 2014 with almost 130,000 additional visits by Chinese tourists. Shoppers from mainland China and Hong Kong also account for about 30 per cent of the luxury goods market in Britain, followed by Russians, Arabs and Japanese.

However, some believe the majority of affluent Chinese shoppers are being deterred from visiting the UK because of the UK Visa requirement and instead are travelling in Europe.

London's retailers are losing £165m a year from Chinese tourists alone because of visa restrictions, an organisation that represents businesses in the West End has said.

The New West Company, which speaks for over 600 retailers in the heart of London, said London's retailers are losing £165m a year from Chinese tourists alone because of visa restrictions.

Only 110,000 Chinese nationals visited the UK every year because of current visa restrictions, compared to the two million Chinese people who visit mainland Europe, The New West Company said.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK Visa applications to the British Embassy.  

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