Tourism and hospitality businesses have welcomed the news that the standard visa for Chinese visitors to the UK is to be extended from six months to two years from today, after a number of campaigns.
Those welcoming the news include companies within the UK China Visa Alliance (UKCVA), which includes the New West End Company, an association claiming to be the voice of over 600 businesses across London's Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Circus.
A 10-year system for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the company estimated, could see an additional 250,000 high-spending tourists travelling to the UK each year, boosting the economy by as much as £337m.
The estimates come just months after prime minister David Cameron suggested in October 2015 that the Government was committed to introducing a standard 10-year visa for Chinese tourists to the UK.
New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell said the changes were great news and would encourage Chinese tourists to London and the West End.
She said: "Today's changes are not just a real boost for businesses across the UK; they will also slash administration costs for the Government. Increased visitor numbers will keep us at the forefront of competition between global retail destinations, attracting investment and protecting and creating jobs."
She added: "Today represents a moment of success for New West End Company as well as sending a signal to China that we [the UK] are open for business."