04/02/2020

Calls for UK Tourism to support alterations in Chinese bookings: A message from VisitBritain

Communications from Visit Britain

Dear Chinese Travel Partners,

As the national tourism agency for Britain, we know that the current coronavirus outbreak presents a difficult time for China and for the Chinese tourism industry. We have been deeply saddened by the news of fatalities as a result of the new virus, but also very pleased to see patients being cured and discharged, as the Chinese Government works hard to treat patients, as well as collaborate with the World Health Organisation and other Governments to limit the spread of this virus.

We are committed to supporting Chinese visitors and the China tourism industry. Following the Chinese’s Government’s restrictions on travel, we have been calling on UK tourism businesses to facilitate booking changes and cancellations. We have already seen some great examples of industry best practice, such as accommodation providers and train operators, offering free cancellations to Chinese guests whose plans have been impacted, easing some of their worry and helping to support their future plans to visit Britain.

Respecting the restrictions from the Chinese authorities, we have postponed our promotional activity in China. This is a short-term measure and we are still here to support you and your clients. We have always valued business from China and it now one of the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound visitor markets. As soon as these restrictions are eased, we will be proactively working with you to help you develop your business again.

In the meantime, Chinese visitors remain very welcome in Britain. We have measures in place at UK airports and other ports of entry to screen visitors, in line with the World Health Organisation’s guidance and we, along with UK tourism businesses, are ready to receive your guests and provide them with a great experience here in Britain. Our team is in place in Beijing and Shanghai and here to support you. We hope that this crisis passes quickly and that patients have a speedy recovery.

With very best wishes to you, your friends and your family for a healthy year ahead.

As two cases of the Coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, Jane Longhurst, chief executive of The Meetings Industry Association has been looking at the impact on the business meetings and events industry. Click here to find out more.