ETC has published a report quantifying the potential impacts on European tourism of visa facilitation for Chinese travellers. The results show that a full visa liberalisation scenario would contribute to an increase of Europe’s GDP by 1% and generate additional inbound spending of €12.5bn per annum.
Europe’s visa regimes are among the most restrictive in the world according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) which estimated that 74% of the global population would have 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.
To assess the potential impact of visa facilitation, the report first undertakes an analysis of the main benefits and types of visa facilitation policy and then applies them to travel patterns from China to EU 27 (excluding UK) destinations. It argues that benefits can be gained from a targeted relaxation of visa policy towards China.