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All eyes on China ..........

23 August 2012

Business leaders are to submit a proposal to the UK Border Agency to boost the number of Chinese visitors to Britain. Their plan to streamline visa applications is designed to cut the amount of red tape involved in processing requests by Chinese tourists.

London retailers are keen to lure wealthy tourists and have welcomed an £8m Government campaign to treble the number of Chinese visitors to the UK over the next three years. The UK is currently lags behind France and Germany in attracting Chinese tourists – France currently attracts 25 to 50 per cent more Chinese tourists than the UK.

Luxury retailers are not just looking for an increase in overall visitors, but also a rise in the number of wealthy customers. The scheme aims to bring 500,000 Chinese visitors a year into the country by 2015, leading to an estimated £569m of additional spending and creating 14,000 more jobs.

Let’s hope that these aspirations are more realistic than the Government’s overly ambitious forecasts for the Olympics….

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