UK will refund visa costs for selected Chinese groups
The Chancellor George Osborne announced that UK government would refund the costs up to 25,000 visas for Chinese tourists visiting the country in organized groups. The Chinese vice premier Ma Kai has hailed the proposal.
George Osborne, the UK Chancellor
Osborne was quoted to say "The more Chinese tourists the merrier," the BBC reported. The occasion was the first UK-China Bilateral Investment Conference, during which deals worth â‚¬3,3 billion between firms from both countries were signed. This after UK already invested â‚¬2 million in marketing activities in China.
Moreover, the government will exempt selected tour groups from applying to a transit visa when making a stop in British airports, improving their function as hubs for international trips.
The British Tourism Board VisitBritain aim is to secure 650,000 Chinese visitors by 2020, that are forecasted to spend an average Â£1,1 billion (â‚¬1,4 billion). In 2013, Mandarin-speaking tourists were 196,000, with an average per-capita spending of Â£2,508 (â‚¬3,153). A representative of the Board commented the UK government decision as "the perfect catalyst to enable Chinese tourists to not only visit Britain, but travel right across the country".
On the other hand, the key project to allow Chinese tourists to proceed with the applications for both Schengen visa and the UK one at the same time and at the same office needs some more time to be studied.