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VisitBritain welcomes new visa and flight rules on Chinese tourists

16 September 2014 by
VisitBritain welcomes new visa and flight rules on Chinese tourists

Tourist board VisitBritain has welcomed a new initiative on Chinese visas and a deal allowing more passenger flights between China and the UK.

The new initiative includes refunding the cost of 25,000 Chinese visas, via tour operators, to those booking UK tours.

Chancellor George Osborne also announced new measures on flights, as part of the China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue event late last week. These include increasing the number of direct flights between the UK and China, from a maximum of 31 return services each week in each direction, to a weekly maximum of 40.

This will allow more flexibility for airlines, and allow the UK in particular to fly to three more Chinese cities than had previously been possible.

The measures are part of the government's aim to develop and strengthen tourism links between China and the UK, and chime with VisitBritain's recent GREAT China Welcome campaign, which is aiming to make Britain the most welcoming destination for Chinese tourists coming to Europe.

This November, the tourist board is also set to announce a joint-funded £1.6m marketing campaign on the issue in China itself.

Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director of strategy and communications, commented on the new visa and flight measures.

Visits to Britain from China are on the increase. Last year (2013) saw a 10% increase on 2012, to 196,000 trips. Visits have doubled in the past five years, and VisitBritain hopes to welcome 650,000 a year by 2020. The benefit to the UK economy has been estimated at nearly £1.1b.

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