Chinese tourists get through £405 on UK holidays

The average Chinese tourist gets through £405 in Britain on holiday, making the Chinese among the most lavish cash-splashing visitors to our shores.

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 01 Nov 2013
In further evidence that western consumer goods are top of the pops with the expanding Chinese middle classes, 65% of Chinese people polled by tourism quango  VisitBritain said they wanted to go shopping in the UK. The nation may be packed with great countryside and fascinating historic relics, but it seems there’s nothing like the prospect of some hard retail therapy to get visitors’ juices flowing whilst also filling up UK plcs depleted coffers. 
 
There’s only one problem – a mere 149,000 Chinese visitors made the trek over here last year, compared with a whopping 2m French and 1.63m Americans, out of total of 18m foreign tourists. Why aren’t more coming? Well the Government’s much criticised visa restrictions certainly aren’t helping. Before they can come here, visitors first have to have their fingerprints taken at one of 12 centres in China and then fill in a hefty form. It is much easier to visit Schengen agreement areas in mainland Europe, where such cumbersome rule do not apply.  
 
Restrictions on immigration are already harming the UK’s education and economic prospects, by deterring the kind of talented people we need to help businesses grow. Now it also seems that they are hitting the tourist trade to boot. The law of unintended consequences is alive and well…

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