UK Immigration News
UK Urged to Fast-Track Visa Processing Times for Overseas Visitors
Monday, June 04, 2012
UKinbound trade association is putting more pressure on the government to shorten visa processing times for overseas visitors following its recent quarterly survey.
According to the recent survey, members of UKinbound forecast a decrease in the number of visitors this year despite Olympic tourism effects. The trade association revealed that only 5 percent of its members were experiencing considerably higher bookings for the period from May to August than last year. 23 percent of surveyed members indicated that bookings were making little progress while more than 50 percent said they were worse.
Other key results during the period January to April 2012 concluded that more than half of the respondents (52%) said their inbound tourism visitor numbers slightly surpassed the previous year. Over a quarter (26 percent) said the bookings were considerably lower, and 22 percent experienced a standstill. Respondents also said the 2012 Olympics would cause shortages of accommodation and high prices, which could limit their business this summer in addition to current overall global economic climate.
Mary Rance, Chief Executive for UKinbound called for more immediate actions from government to reduce UK visa application processing times which potentially influence visitor numbers to the UK. She also suggested the government should learn from the U.S. initiative to significantly decrease processing times from countries such as China from months to just a few days.
"If ever there was a time for the Government to tackle the key issues affecting UK inbound tourism beyond the Olympics, it is now. The industry is very concerned and the government should be too," added Ms. Rance.
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