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Britain Eyes Chinese Travelers

Britain is eyeing the North Asian travelers namely from China mainland and Taiwan and South Korea to boost arrivals and tourist expenditure.


Keith Beecham, VisitBritain’s regional manager for Asia, identified North Asian regions such as China mainland and Taiwan and South Korea as key markets with good potential for growth.


“Currently there is a lot of excitement about the new tourism markets that are emerging and developing in Asia. China is developing very good growth for us. Equally places like Korea has grown very nicely for the UK.”


He was speaking at Destination Britain -- an Asia/Pacific trade event which the NTO is hosting in Langkawi from September 12 to 15.


Figures released by VisitBritain revealed that for 2003, spending by Chinese, Malaysian, South Korean and Taiwanese visitors rose by 40 percent.


VisitBritain, Beecham said, has placed representatives over the last 12 months in Beijing Shanghai and Seoul, to understand these markets and develop them.


Britain has yet to be granted Approved Destination Status by the Chinese government but Beecham anticipates that this will be announced soon in the next few months.


However, he said that he does not expect growth to be explosive when this happens but it would develop at a faster pace. According to International Passenger Survey (IPS) about 68,000 Chinese nationals visited Britain and spent 127 million pounds last year.


“We forecast an additional 15 percent rise in visitors with ADS over our current tourist arrivals from China.”


Travis Qian, VisitBritain, chief representative, Shanghai disclosed that certain barriers remain such as the visa process and the controlled nature of China’s outbound travel agencies.


(CNTA.com September 17, 2004)

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