UK to launch the â€œChina Welcomeâ€ campaign
Inbound trends Rules & Law UK
China Welcome hospitality
The United Kingdom remains firm in its policy to boost relations with China and attract as many Chinese tourists as possible. This spring will see the launch of the â€œChina Welcomeâ€ campaign, with the aim of replacing France as the top European destination. The goal is to reach 650,000 Chinese visitors a year by 2020, worth nearly Â£1.1 billion ($1.8 billion) annually.
During her visit to China last December, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: â€œBritain is very much open for business and this is just the beginning.â€ She explained that the campaign seeks cooperation with tourism businesses, and will be focused on raising cultural awareness and encouraging the training of qualified, Mandarin-speaking guides. â€œThe new â€œChina Welcomeâ€ initiative,â€ Miller added, â€œshows how serious we are about making sure Britain is ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting Chinese businesses and tourists.â€
In 2012, 179,000 visitors traveled to the UK from China, spending a total of Â£300 million ($491 million), a 20% increase in visitors and a 25% increase in spending compared with 2011. Even more encouraging is the fact that China to the UK visits were up 21% during the first half of 2013, while spending rose an impressive 132%. On average, every Chinese tourist spent Â£1,676 ($2,741) while in the UK, nearly three times the all-market average. The most recent figures show that in 2013, China reinforced its position as the most powerful outbound tourism market in the world: 98 million Chinese travelers spent a total of $120 billion.
â€œChina Welcomeâ€ is only the latest effort implemented by the Tory government in London to expand the tourist economy between the UK and China. A new visa system was introduced in October 2013 to ease the procedure that wealthy businessmen and rich Chinese citizens must follow to enter the country. â€œNo nation in the West is keener to attract Chinese investment than Britain,â€ remarked Chancellor George Osborne at that time, when a 24-hour priority visa service was launched. In addition, the government is currently developing a plan to allow selected Chinese travel agencies to apply for UK visas simply by submitting the same application form used for the EU Schengen visa.