ETC calls for fewer visa restrictions

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The European Travel Commission (ETC) has called for visa restrictions on Chinese travellers to Europe to be more liberal after publishing a report that quantified the potential impacts of visa facilitation for Chinese travellers on European tourism.

Currently Europe’s restrictions are among the most restrictive in the world, with an estimated 74 per cent of the global population requiring a visa to enter in 2015. With the tendency for long-haul passengers to stay longer and spend more, making travel easier to the continent could be beneficial.

The report first analysed the primary benefits and forms of visa facilitation policy, applying them to visit patterns from Chinese travellers to 27 EU countries (excluding the UK). The report found that visa liberalisation would increase demand in the European sector, with an estimated 18-per-cent-rise in arrivals from China each year between 2018 and 2023. This figure currently sits at seven per cent.

The report estimates that this increase could bring in an additional €12.5 billion per annum and create 237,000 additional jobs – which would raise total employment by one per cent. Furthermore, the increase in travellers would raise Europe’s total GDP by one per cent.

 “Liberalisation of Europe´s visa regimes for Chinese travellers is vital for the continent to increase its share of the power from the growth of the Chinese travel market in the decades ahead,” said Robert Andrzejczyk, ETC Vice-President. “Europe must secure further employment now; buying visa liberalisation directed at key markets can perform this aim efficiently and effectively.”