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UK businesses prepare for Chinese visitors

Updated: 2013-10-17 16:11
( english.cntv.cn)

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The UK's new joint visa system with the EU will give Chinese tour groups easier access to the country. That could be good news for British business and luxury shops and the tourist industry are preparing for a bigger influx of Chinese visitors.

Travelling to the UK is set to become much easier for Chinese visitors. And, British businessmen have sniffed the coming opportunities.

Britain is to streamline the visa application process for visitors from China, caving in to

pressure from irate UK businesses and grasping for a larger share of the high-spending Chinese tourists.

"We did a survey recently of restaurants, of hoteliers, of retail chains, shops here in London, we ask them how would they be preparing for Chinese visitors coming in to London. What do they do about services and offering, more than a third of them had hired mandarin speakers last year, and more than a third of them are planning to hire mandarin speakers in the year ahead." Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, said.

Having a separate visa process from the EU has been a barrier for many Chinese visitors. Many have chosen to spend their time and money in European cities, like Paris or Rome instead.

For some, that may now change due to the new visa system.

To welcome the possible influx of tourists, UK businessmen have worked out customised services.

"We've got seven staff who can speak Mandarin and Cantonese, and people can use their Union Pay cards. We also have kettles as most Chinese like to have hot water for their tea. And we've added congee, dim sum and fried noodles to the breakfast menu." Zhao Aiwei, sales manager of Corinthia Hotel London, said.

"We have done it specifically for the Chinese guests, come up with Chinese VIP amenities. If they are guests from China, before they arrive our hotel, they will receive a complimentary Chinese magazine, with a selection with a cup of Chinese tea, which is green tea, Wulong tea, Pu'er tea, besides we have a selection of Chinese snacks. In addition to that, we have, of course, CCTV, the channel in the hotel, and a couple of additional all the channels. They are all mandarin language." Mark Beverlo, sales manager of The Ritz London, said.

Last year, 210 thousand visas were issued to Chinese nationals who contributed about 300 million pounds to the UK economy.

The UK is China's top investment market in Europe and China is the biggest source of overseas students in the country.

UK businesses prepare for Chinese visitors

Britain is to streamline the visa application process for visitors from China, caving in to pressure from irate UK businesses and grasping for a larger share of the high-spending Chinese tourists. [Photo /cntv.com]

 
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