If a Chinese wants a visa to Denmark, he or she will have to meet in person at a Danish embassy or consulate showing bank statement and wedding attest among other requirements.
“It cost the tourism industry billions in lost revenue,” said Lars Thykier of the Danish Travel Association, which represents the agencies that sells Denmark abroad.
Better handling of visa applications
The Tourist Industry Cooperation Forum together with Danish Travel Agency Association require that the government changes visa rules so that tourists from visa-bearing countries have the same opportunity to access Denmark, as they have to the other Nordic countries.
The Danish authorities have divided the world’s countries into categories, and all travellers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are considered potential immigrants. Many other countries assessed tourists from for instance China individually so wealthy Chinese travellers easily can get tourist visas.
“Sweden and Finland are much better at handling visa rules than Denmark. Those countries do not fear that people from Russia or China tries to become residents in the country. You have to remember that we typically talk about a wealthy clientele who return home to their countries. It is not immigrants, “said Lars Thykier.
100 million Chinese tourists
Tourism Reports indicate that the Chinese tourism will explode in the coming years.
The forecast for Chinese travelling abroad indicates an increase from approximately 20 million Chinese in 2006, to about 100 million in 2020. That’s an average annual growth of 12.2 percent.
Chinese tourists in Denmark have an average consumption of almost 1,700 dollars, and calculations from the tourism industry shows that Denmark this year and 2020 will lose around DDK 2.4 billion on Chinese guests who chose not come to Denmark as a result of the restrictive visa policy.
“We should see Chinese tourists as an export option and not as an attempt to intrude into the country. We are perceived as Fort Denmark, “said Lars Thykier.
Jan Laursen, Chairman of the Tourist Industry Cooperation Forum, says that the Danish visa policy collides with the attempts to sell the country to tourists.
“From my chair, it seems strange that we make huge marketing efforts in these countries and then keep the door closed. We market ourselves vigorously during the Olympics in China, but it’s wasted if we don’t open the door to Denmark.
Despite the difficulties of getting a visa Chinese overnights stays are expected to reach 110,000 Denmark this year. An increase of 30 percent compared to 2007. China has overtaken Japan as the second best marked for Danish tourism, while USA keeps the lead with 300,000 nights.