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WTTC 2014: Calls for China to improve visa processing

WTTC 2014: Calls for China to improve visa processing

Tourism creates more jobs and contributes more to China’s economy than industries including automotive manufacturing and banking

Improving visa access and visa processes for China is the key to opening the country’s doors to more international visitors, according to WTTC president David Scowsill.

Scowsill said visa facilitation will help give China’s international tourism market a vital boost.

He continued: “China’s domestic market is strong, but it is not getting the growth in international visitors it could be.

“There is strong potential from emerging economies across Asia and renewed optimism from long haul markets this year.

“To capitalise on this, WTTC recommends that the Chinese Government continues to strengthen its policies and strategies which will bring people from all over the world for business and leisure visits.

“Increased visa facilitation would drive visitor numbers, tourism receipts and jobs.”

WTTC is the global authority on the social and economic impact of the tourism.

WTTC’s 2013 Benchmarking research assesses the role which tourism plays in comparison to other economic sectors.

It shows that tourism directly employs more people and contributes more to China’s economy (9.3 per cent) than car manufacturing (7.7 per cent), education (7.1 per cent), banking (six per cent), communication services (5.2 per cent) and higher education (1.5 per cent).

The research also shows that other sectors in China benefit strongly from tourism’s supply chain.

For example, for every $1 million in spending on tourism, the agricultural sector gains $150,000.

Scowsill added: “This latest research underlines the significant role which tourism is playing in driving China’s economy and the even greater potential it offers, if the right policies continue to be implemented.

“China has something for everyone including incredible sights like the 2,500 year old Terracotta Army, the Great Wall of China, pulsating modern cities as well as beaches to relax on.

“WTTC would recommend that China looks to increase bilateral and visa-free agreements with its near neighbours and takes steps to digitise its visa processes.

“Every step it takes to open its borders to travellers will reap economic rewards and see many more international tourists coming to enjoy its cultural and historical delights.”