03
Jan

Full visa liberalisation for Chinese travellers into Europe could generate EUR12.5 billion per annum in additional inbound spending

New research from the European Travel Commission shows that visa liberalisation between China and Europe would undoubtedly increase demand from one of the most lucrative source markets and contribute to European GDP and employment growth. While any visa liberalisation measures need to be balanced against security and immigration concerns, its findings show the positive impact on GDP and job creation within the tourism sector specifically and the wider economy more generally, “would likely be considerable”.

International tourism is an important driver of European economies in terms of its size and growth potential. International tourism arrivals in European countries accounted for over half of arrivals worldwide in 2017, and the region includes seven of the world’s top ten destinations ranked by visitor volume. Travel to the region has grown at an average rate of around 5% in each year since 2010. However, travel restrictions limit the growth potential of international travel, especially from key emerging markets which are taking a growing share of global tourism demand and will continue to rise in prominence.

Europe’s visa regimes are among the most restrictive in the world, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which estimated that almost three quarters of the global population required a visa to travel to Europe in 2015. This number largely accounts for visitors from long-haul source markets which are amongst the most valuable as they tend to stay longer and spend more per day than the average visitor.

The European Travel Commission report ‘Visa Policy and Chinese Travel to Europe‘ quantifies the potential impacts of visa facilitation for Chinese travellers on European tourism. Presently China is one of the long-haul source markets for which visa-free access to the EU, including the Schengen area, is not available despite the incremental rise in Chinese travel demand to Europe over the last ten years.

FIND OUT how any relaxation of visa restrictions on Chinese arrivals could impact European arrivals via The Blue Swan DailyFull visa liberalisation for Chinese travellers into Europe could generate EUR12.5 billion per annum in additional inbound spending