Luxury products are no longer the only thing sought by Chinese tourists
Juwai, a property website in China is noticing a sudden rise on the real estate investment in UK. Why ? Because Chinese tourists are taking advantage of visa changes in the country. It has been only a couple of months but it is likely that the property investment will explode on the coming year.
So what is changing ?
Already by the end of 2013, the British government had taken some measures to facilitate visa access for Chinese tourist. Last week’s announcement is making it easier for Chinese citizens to come to the UK but also to invest in property. This new application service will help Chinese who are already visiting the Schengen area and allow them to come to Great Britain without a separate visa. For the first time, English are happy to use the European Union as a tourist advantage.
Next autumn, a change in the visa application process will also occur. A British/Irish Visa will allow visitors from Chinese and Indian to visit UK with an Irish visitor visa. Separate visa is making travellers life more difficult and the English government is finally ready to open up and attract investment. Andrew Taylor, co-Chief Executive Officer of Juwai, also pointed that it will make easier investor from China to invest in UK property.
A smart move that will bring in even more benefits
Economically, it is also a very clever move. Only on a tourist spending view, the visa facilities will bring over 1.25 billion euros a year. But it will also lead directly to property investment according to Juwai. Indeed, visa process used to be a stumbling block for UK agent wishing to get propects to the UK to see property. Now it will be much more easier. « This change will make it more worthwhile for agents to travel to China to meet prospects, to advertise in China and to exhibit at Chinese property expos » he says.
With the slow down of value market in London, buyers are now seeking outside of the capital to make investment. The trend is changing and Chinese buyers are starting to invest and spur new construction in other cities than London.
The other side of the coin
If the UK government hope to attract more investor or just more tourists, there are still some improvements that can be done. In fact, when they visit the British territory, Chinese need to give their fingerprints while Americans don’t need any visa for short trips.
The first time, announcements of any visa changes were made was during Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang official visited the UK. His visit was concerning trade and tourism between the two countries. Looks like it finally worked out. The Secretary of UK government Theresa May adds : « The number of Chinese people coming to Britain to visit and do business is soaring. They already enjoy a first-rate visa service and these changes will ensure it is easier than ever before to visit the UK and see first-hand everything this great country has to offer ».
And indeed, in 2012, about 210000 visas were given to Chinese citizens. This contributed to a pick in the tourism economy : 375 million euros. Before this change, Beijing had, at several times, complained about how difficult it was for professional such as student to obtain visa for UK. Because of that, the country was loosing a lot of business opportunity since they were seeking for other destination.
A taste for real estate
This past year, 97 million of Chinese were travelling overseas, according to the China National Tourism Administration. And for the World Tourism Council the money Chinese travellers are counting to spend will be close to 208 billion of euros by 2024.
The website of Juwai company states that with the taste of the Chinese for real estate hunting agents had better catch up fast this growing trend. To make sure about that, even Alexa, which is an online traffic analysis website that global ranked 30 million websites, says that Juwai is currently ranked at the 1,564th position for Chinese website and around 16,000th in the world.
When it comes to digital marketing and strategies, shouldn’t agencies design real estate hunting tour across Europe just as Chinese tourist-shoppers already do with luxury products? What strategy can be used in order to benefit from that?
Undoubtedly well crafted services with the help of a good SEO campaign to raise brand awareness would help a great deal in taking advantage of this.
Interested about Chinese outbound travel and this new trend? Go there :