Data from the British statistics agency shows that the country’s efforts to attract more Chinese tourists has paid off, with tens of thousands of Chinese mainlanders visiting the UK in the second quarter, leading to millions in tourism revenue, the Financial Times reports.
Numbers published by the Office for National Statistics reveal that 64,000 Chinese mainlanders had come to the UK during the second quarter, an increase of 33 percent year-to-year.
During the past five years, the amount spent each year by Chinese visitors has increased by 326 percent to 497.5 million pounds (over $767 million), FT says.
This comes after a series of steps taken by the government since last year to lure Chinese visitors, which range from easing the visa application procedure to making U.K.’s tourist attractions more friendly and accessible for Chinese visitors.
A parallel application reform was launched last year by the British government, which allowed a Chinese visa applicant to apply for Schengen and U.K. visas with one set of documents.
The U.K., a member of the European Union, is not party to the Schengen Scheme, under which a visa given by any member country allows the visa holder to travel to other countries in the Schengen area.
The latest move by the U.K. to please Chinese people was a photo-sharing campaign announced last month by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. According to the plan, visitors from China can share pictures about their stay in the U.K. online from October 26 to Christmas.
Last year, Britain also began re-branding several famous tourist destinations in Mandarin, with Savile Row being translated in English as “Tall, Rich and Handsome Street” and London’s tallest building the Shard becoming “Star Plucking Tower.”