VisitBritain welcomes China visa changes

VisitBritain welcomes China visa changes

VisitBritain has become the latest organisation to welcome enhancements made by the British government to make the visa applications from Chinese visitors as simple as possible.

Home secretary Theresa May earlier confirmed a host of changes, including shorter, translated application forms, and reduced documentary requirements.

Patricia Yates, director of strategy & communications at VisitBritain said: “China is a key growth market for international tourism and a market in which Britain needs to compete effectively to ensure that we continue to be in the top ten of tourism destinations.

“Improvements in the visa process will support our ambition to attract 40 million visitors a year by 2020 and we have been working closely with UKBA to inform their thinking.”

Yates added the changes would allow Britain to more effectively compete for guests with countries in the Schengen area, as well as Australia and the USA.

Britain attracted around 149,000 visits from China last year (a rise of about 35 per cent from 2010), although the destination was outperformed by European rivals such as France and Germany.

Yates concluded: “We’re looking to increase this to 382,000 visits by 2020, quite a healthy rise.

“Chinese visitors also spend around three times as much as other visitors in the UK, so anything that can be done to attract more Chinese tourists will be a welcome boost for the economy.”