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A streamlined visa process will encourage more Chinese tourists to the UK

Allowing Chinese tourists to apply for both UK and Schengen visas at the same time, as reported in the Telegraph, is a welcome step in the right direction and appears to show an increased commitment from the Home Office to supporting the Government’s growth agenda.

London First has been actively campaigning for improvements in the visa process. We recently helped set up the UK Chinese Visa Alliance (UKCVA) with the New West End Company to explore how to streamline the UK visa application process without compromising UK border security.

The UKCVA recently published a report The UK: Brand of Opportunity showing that only one in ten Chinese visitors applied for both Schengen and UK visas, costing the UK an estimated £1.2bn in lost retail revenue alone.

China is forecast to be the world’s largest outbound tourism market by 2020. Streamlining the visa applications process to encourage more Chinese tourists to the UK will present some practical challenges but achieving a one-stop application process from the applicants’ perspective will be a huge boon for our tourism industry.

 

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