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UK missing out on Chinese tourists spending

A new study by online booking site hotels.com, shows that a quarter of Chinese tourists based their trips abroad on the quality of shopping.

Chinese visitors are some of the highest spenders in the UK, spending three times more than the average overseas visitor; but research shows nine out of ten Chinese tour groups don’t apply for a UK visa alongside a Schengen visa when visiting Europe.

London First, alongside its partners in the UK China Visa Alliance (UKCVA), has been actively campaigning for improvements in the UK visitor visa regime.

A spokesperson from the UKCVA says, “We welcome the fact that the Government has publicly committed to streamlining the application process for UK and Schengen visas for Chinese travellers and we are working with them to find ways to deliver this as quickly as possible.

“It is frustrating that only around 15% of the 1.6 million Chinese visitors to Europe each year obtain a UK visitor visa. This means that 1.3 million Chinese people are travelling half way around the world to Europe but do not make the short trip across the Channel to spend their money in Britain because they don’t have a UK visa.

“There is a huge prize waiting to be claimed, but over a billion pounds a year is slipping through our fingers and fuelling the economies of France and Germany instead.”

Read more about our work on visas

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