Outward tourism from China has witnessed massive growth over the past few years. Now this tourism from the massive number of Chinese tourists across the world is fuelling a race to attract Chinese investment and tourism leading to a number of countries relaxing their visas rules for wealthy Chinese tourists.
Many countries, including Australia and New Zealand have relaxed their visa requirements for Chinese in a bid to get a piece of the action. It is predicted that Chinese tourism will be worth $420bn worldwide and that the Chinese will own $220bn in overseas real estate by 2020. Many countries are seeing this as a vital boost to their economies and countries including Malaysia, Japan and South Korea have already changed their visa rules, while the Philippines is currently considering visa free travel for Chinese.
So called ‘golden visas’ allowing wealthy Chinese investors are spreading in popularity. Originally introduced by Australia, New Zealand and many European countries now offer these visas to Chinese travellers willing to invest considerable amounts in their countries.
Although a great deal of inward investment has been seen through the introduction of these visas there is also considerable criticism of them driven by the belief that Chinese investment is forcing property prices up across the globe. It is certainly the case in London that Chinese investment has driven prices to record levels.
Last year New Zealand introduced new relaxations of the visa criteria in order to attract more Chinese investment including simplifying the visa process for ‘high value’ travellers including corporates and banks, while making it easier for Chinese tourist and businessmen to apply for visas online. The Chinese’s appetite for ravel has been growing considerably recently and it seems that many countries are prepared to relax the rules in order to take a share of the increased investment and spend this brings.
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