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Britain to cash on Chinese spending power by simplify visa process

british visa, chinese tourists

Britain plans to make it easier for Chinese tourists to acquire visas, the government said during a state visit by President Xi Jinping of China, in a move welcomed by the luxury goods and hospitality industries.

在习近平对英国进行国事访问期间,英国政府表示将降低中国游客获得赴英签证的难度,此举受到奢侈品业和酒店业的欢迎。

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the changes, which he said were designed to "maximize Chinese spending power″ by cutting the cost of a two-year multiple-entry visa to 84 pounds from £384.

英国首相戴维·卡梅伦宣布了这个消息,表示将把两年期的多次入境签证费用从384英镑降至84英镑,"让中国人最大程度地发挥消费能力"。

The change is set to take effect in January in a bid to increase visits to Britain by wealthy Chinese looking to spend abroad.

新办法将于明年1月生效,目的是吸引想在国外消费的中国富人前往英国。

"China is becoming one of our fastest-growing tourism markets, so making it easier and more convenient for Chinese visitors to come to the U.K. is extremely important," Mr. Cameron said. While there was a decline in visits by Chinese tourists to Britain last year, Mr. Cameron said such visitors contribute £500 million a year to the British economy, with each visitor spending an average of £2,700.

"中国正在成为我国增长最快的旅游市场之一,因此让中国游客更容易、更方便地来到英国非常重要,"卡梅伦说。虽然去年来英国旅游的中国人数量有所下降,卡梅伦说,这些游客一年为英国经济做出了5亿英镑的贡献,平均每位游客花了2700英镑。

The British authorities said in a news release that they were also considering reducing the cost of a 10-year multiple-entry visa for Chinese tourists.

英国当局在一份新闻稿中说,他们还在考虑降低中国游客的10年期多次入境签证费用。

The government has come under sustained pressure from some of the biggest names in British hospitality and luxury retailing to relax the application process for Chinese tourists, asserting that the cost and complexities involved had driven the big spenders elsewhere.

英国一些大牌酒店和奢侈品零售店不断给政府施加压力,要求放宽中国游客的申请手续,他们声称这个手续太贵太复杂,已经把大金主赶到了别的地方。

Data released in May by the British Office for National Statistics showed that while the number of tourists from all countries visiting Britain rose 5.2 percent last year, to 34.38 million, visits by Chinese tourists fell by 7.6 percent, to 185,000.

英国国家统计署今年5月发布的数据显示,虽然去年前往英国的所有外国游客增长了5.2%,达3438万人,但中国游客同比下降了7.6%,至18.5万人次。

Part of the reason for the decline may be relative ease of traveling to France. Research by the UK China Visa Alliance, a lobbying group, showed France attracting eight times the number of Chinese visitors to Britain.

中国游客数量减少的部分原因可能在于赴法旅游相对容易。游说团体英中签证联盟的研究显示,法国吸引到的中国游客数量是英国的8倍。

Chinese tourists are required to have a Schengen visa to visit 26 mainland countries in Europe and must hold a separate visa to enter Britain.

中国游客只要有申根签证就能游览欧洲26个大陆国家,而进入英国必须拿到单独的签证。

Michael Ward, the managing director of the upmarket department store Harrods, said in an interview last month that a slowdown of Chinese shoppers — many of whom travel abroad to buy brand-name luxury goods — was tied to the hassle of getting into Britain.

高档百货公司哈罗德总经理迈克尔·沃德上个月接受采访时表示,中国购物者的减少——很多人为了购买名牌奢侈品出国旅游——与难以进入英国有关。

"Many just head over to Paris instead to make their purchases," he said.

他表示,"很多人转而只去巴黎购物。"

Still, the announcement was welcomed as a positive first step by many in the luxury sector as China's currency, the renminbi, was holding its own against the pound.

但这次的消息受到很多奢侈品行业人士的欢迎,他们认为这迈出了积极的第一步,与此同时,中国的人民币正奋力保持着对英镑的稳定。

"The Chinese really admire the quality, creativity and craftsmanship of British luxury goods, and today's announcement makes it easier for them to visit and shop here," said Michelle Emerson, chief executive of Walpole, a trade group representing 170 luxury brands in Britain.

贸易团体沃波尔的首席执行官米歇尔·埃默森表示,"中国人真的很欣赏英国奢侈品的质量、创意和工艺,今天宣布的消息使他们更容易来到英国旅行、购物。"该团体在英国代理170个奢侈品牌。

Chinese consumers make up more than 30 percent of global luxury sales, according to the management consulting firm Bain.

据管理咨询公司贝恩透露,全球奢侈品消费额的30%来自中国消费者。

2016-06-23

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