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With the bulging purse and the constantly updated travel concept, Chinese tourists are enthusiastic about outbound travel and the market is booming. And the large number of Chinese "funders" with strong purchasing power have become the target of competition among many European countries. In the wave of loosening of visas to China by other European partners, the United Kingdom, Germany and other countries finally couldn't help it, and successively introduced new policies to relax visa restrictions and stepped up to attract Chinese tourists.

Curve to save the country

United Kingdom: Incidentally Schengen

The British Home Office announced on the 19th that it will further simplify visa applications for Chinese citizens and allow Chinese citizens to apply for visas to the UK and European Schengen countries at the same visa center.

According to a partnership agreement between the UK and Belgium, Chinese tourists and business people only need to visit the three joint visa centers located in Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai once to apply for both UK and Schengen visas at the same time, without the need for multiple trips.

The new visa procedure was launched on July 7. Chinese citizens can use the same set of application documents to apply online for UK and Belgium visas and pay the fees, and then make an appointment for visa time to complete the entire procedure. In order to shorten the application time, the United Kingdom and Belgium intend to accept two visa applications and make a decision within 1 working days.

British Home Secretary Teresa May said that the new plan will create a "one-stop service" for Chinese citizens going to the UK and Europe, whether they are for business or leisure.

At the end of October last year, the UK launched the UK-Ireland visa system, allowing some Chinese citizens holding short-term visit visas to enter the UK, and some Chinese citizens holding some British visit visas to enter Ireland.

The British "Financial Times" reported that in the year to March this year, the number of visas issued to Chinese tourists and business people in the UK increased by 3% year-on-year. However, compared with popular travel destinations for Chinese tourists like France and Italy, the gap is not small in the UK.

Some British business lobby groups previously complained that the UK and the Schengen visa system are separate, forcing Chinese tourists to shuttle between two very different systems. Some people have to choose between continental Europe and the UK. As a result, the generous Chinese tourists passed by London, but went shopping in Paris and Milan.

The British Tourism Board clearly sees the significance of Chinese tourists to boost the British economy. Statistics show that for every 22 additional Chinese tourists, one job will be created for the British tourism industry.

Hurry up

Germany: Speed ​​up the issuance of certificates

Similar to the United Kingdom, Germany's relatively complicated visa application process once blocked many Chinese tourists from the country. Now, seeing neighboring countries open their doors to welcome guests and enjoy the tourist bonus, Germany has decided to simplify procedures and shorten the visa processing time.

Countries such as France, Spain, and Italy have previously implemented convenient visa procedures for Chinese tourists, with visa issuing time ranging from 24 hours to 48 hours. In order to attract more Chinese tourists and investors, Germany is determined to run forward this time to catch up. The German Embassy in China announced on the 17th that the processing time for visa applications for Chinese citizens has been shortened from the original 5 days to 3 days. According to the results of previous consultations between the Chinese and German governments, by the end of this year, ordinary tourists are expected to obtain a visa to Germany within two days, and the application materials will also be reduced.

在网站的一篇新闻稿中,德国驻华使馆称德中两国9个月前约定的签证程序简化措施“效果明显”。2015年5月,德国驻华使馆审发超过1.5万份签证,与去年5月相比增长31.13%。

According to the German Embassy in China, the simplified measures that have been implemented include: starting from May 5 this year, visas will be issued to business people within 1 hours and no expedited fees will be charged; compared with the previous year, a significant increase of one year/year Return visa issuance ratio; business people who travel frequently can get a Schengen visa valid for up to 48 years.

Seize the opportunity

Italy: Expo Channel

Italy has always been one of the traditional European travel destinations loved by Chinese tourists. The Milan Expo, which started in May this year, has become another selling point for Italy to attract Chinese tourists.

Italy expects more than 100 million Chinese tourists to visit the Expo. For the convenience of Chinese tourists, the Italian embassy and consulate in China promised to issue personal tourist and business visas within 36 hours, provided the visa materials are complete. At the same time, the Italian embassy and consulates cooperated with a number of travel agencies to give the green light to applicants holding tickets for the Expo. As long as air tickets, hotels, and visas are handed over to cooperative travel agencies at the same time, the "green channel" can be used.

In order to facilitate Chinese applicants, many European countries have taken a lot of thought. In addition to shortening the visa processing time, France, Finland and other countries have also launched a caring service of express visa to home, so that applicants can avoid the pain of traveling. In the final analysis, whether two-in-one, two-day pick-ups, visits to the World Expo, or delivery to home, the various European visa loosening policies have one purpose: to attract Chinese tourists and stimulate economic growth.

Article reprinted from Xinhua News Agency

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