Changes to visas welcomed

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Tourism bosses have welcomed news that visa rules for Chinese nationals will be relaxed.

David James, chief executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, said he is delighted that the Government is acting on a suggestion the tourist board first made to the then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt during his visit to the area to discuss tourism policy in March 2011.

“We suggested to Mr Hunt that visa rules for people representing one of the world’s largest economies should be relaxed to encourage more Chinese visitors and inward investment – and we are very pleased it is now happening,” David said. “News that the visa application process is to be streamlined and simplified is excellent, and should help to stimulate both tourism and trade.

“It’s also encouraging to hear that the Beijing Construction Engineering Group is joining forces with UK companies to develop the £800 million ‘Airport City’ near Manchester Airport, expected to create around 16,000 jobs. Manchester Airport brings in millions of visitors and business people each year.”