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WTTC congratulates UK government on new visa policies for Chinese visitors

WTTC congratulates UK government on new visa policies for Chinese visitors (Forimmediaterelease.net) The World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) congratulates the government of the United Kingdom (UK) for making changes to the visa processes for business and leisure travelers from the People’s Republic of China in acknowledgement of the tremendous potential for the UK economy.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that the UK will be extending the validity of visas for Chinese tourists to 2 years, which is 4 times longer than the current 6-month limit of the standard visa. The government will also extend its network of Visa Application Centers across China.

David Scowsill, President and CEO, WTTC, said: “I would like to commend the UK government on this great effort. Extending the period of validity of the visas and expanding the UK mobile fingerprinting service from 9 Chinese cities to 50 is an important step by the government to welcome more Chinese travelers to the country.

“Travel and tourism brings countries economic growth, job creation and social benefit. In 2014, Travel&Tourism generated 10.5% of the UK GDP, or £187.7 billion, and supported 4.2 million jobs, 12.7% of total employment. The announced changes will help the UK to benefit from increased travel from one of the world’s fastest growing tourism markets, and thus boost its economy - specifically the retail and hospitality sectors.”

Scowsill added: “The recently announced changes are a great step in the right direction, however there are still many challenges to overcome to make the visa process even easier. WTTC analysis has shown that extending the length of stay does make a difference but does not have as impactful as a visa waiver program. The USA has a visa waiver program with 38 countries. This type of program is what WTTC ultimately would like to see between the UK and China.

A visa waiver program between the two countries would allow Chinese and British travelers to complete visa application processes online in the comfort of their home or office, with all fingerprint and biometric controls carried out on arrival in the destination country.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Annebeth Wijtenburg, Public Relations Manager, World Travel & Tourism Council, annebeth.wijtenburg@wttc.org

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