Decreasing number of business trips made from China

china, visitor 21 May 2015
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of business trips from mainland China to the UK fell by almost 13% last year, as reported in the Financial Times.
In 2013, there were 55,000 business trips from China to the UK; in 2014, this figure reached just 48,000. This is despite the efforts made to simplify the visa process for such visits and government targets to attract Chinese visitors: the target is to attract 650,000 Chinese visitors, spending £1.1 billion, by 2020.
The chief executive of International Airlines Group, Willie Walsh, commented: “Chinese visitors to the UK are falling. The government’s plans to increase numbers have failed miserably. Far from being a record these numbers show the UK continues to miss out on the jobs and growth that Chinese visitors could bring to these shores.” He called for a “radical overhaul” to the system.
There was an even greater drop of 35% in the number of Chinese citizens visiting friends and family in the UK.
Moreover, research from the UK China Visa Alliance suggests that a staggering 90% of Chinese tour groups visiting Europe omit Britain, arguably because it is not part of the EU’s single-visa Schengen zone. Economists claim that this alone costs the UK £1.2 billion in lost revenue annually.
Applicants have said that the measures implemented to simplify the visa process have been little help - although Chinese tourists can use the same website to apply for British and Schengen visas, applicants still need to attend separate UK visa centres to process their biometric data.
Overall, critics have argued that the UK needs to do a great deal more to attract Chinese businesspeople and tourists to the country, due to the significant revenue, jobs and growth they can bring.

Tags: china , visitor

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