Improving visa access and visa processes for China is the key to opening the country’s doors to more International visitors.

That’s the message from the CEO and President of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), David Scowsill, who recently unveiled research which underlines the significant role which travel and tourism is playing in driving China’s economy.

Scowsill said visa facilitation would help give China’s international tourism market a vital boost.

“China’s domestic market is strong, but it is not getting the growth in international visitors it could be,” he said. “There is strong potential from emerging economies across Asia and renewed optimism from long haul markets this year.

“To capitalise on this, WTTC recommends that the Chinese Government continues to strengthen its policies and strategies which will bring people from all over the world for business and leisure visits.

“Increased visa facilitation would drive visitor numbers, tourism receipts and jobs,” he said.

WTTC is the global authority on the social and economic impact of travel and tourism and WTTC’s 2013 Benchmarking research assesses the role which travel and tourism plays in comparison to other economic sectors.

It shows that travel and tourism directly employs more people and contributes more to China’s economy (9.3%) than car manufacturing (7.7%), education (7.1%), banking (6%), communication services (5.2%) and higher education (1.5%).

The travel and tourism Industry in China, in fact, directly employs more people than all of the sectors looked at in the study:
-Travel & Tourism 22.7m
-Financial Services 20.7m
-Communication Services 10.8m
-Banking 10.7m
-Mining 10.3m
-Education 8.9m
-Chemicals Manufacturing 6.5m
-Car manufacturing 5.3m
-Higher Education 1.4m

The research also shows that other sectors in China benefit strongly from travel and tourism’s supply chain. For example, for every USD$1 million in spending on travel and tourism, the agricultural sector gains $150,000.

“This latest research underlines the significant role which travel and tourism is playing in driving China’s economy and the even greater potential it offers, if the right policies continue to be implemented,” Scowsill said.

“China has something for everyone including incredible sights like the 2500 year old Terracotta Army, the Great Wall of China, pulsating modern cities as well as beaches to relax on.

“WTTC would recommend that China looks to increase bilateral and visa-free agreements with its near neighbours and takes steps to digitise its visa processes.

“Every step it takes to open its borders to travellers will reap economic rewards and see many more international tourists coming to enjoy its cultural and historical delights,” he said.

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