Exhibitors from Switzerland at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Asia are showcasing a circular announcing that nine more VACs (Visa Application Centres) will be opened in mainland China will be effective from mid-July. On the other hand, a portable biometric visa service, which is still being tested, will simplify the process for Chinese wanting to apply for a Swiss Schengen visa.
As of now, Chinese can apply for Swiss visas at six VACs, which are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Wuhan. The new centres are to be opened in Hangzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Fuzhou, Changsha, Jinan, Nanjing, Xi’an and Shenzhen.
TTG Asia e-Daily was quoted as saying that the procedure of portable biometric visa service would see an officer visiting corporates, tour operators, meeting, exposition and event planners, and end-consumers in cities without a VAC to collect passengers’ biometric fingerprints. This is being tested with chosen travel trade partners. Other details, such as cost and timing would be communicated in the coming weeks.
Siro Barino, Swiss Deluxe Hotels managing director, feeling gung-ho about this move, expected visitors from China to be occupying the companies’ 41 luxury hotels in Switzerland. Chinese tourist market has reportedly grown by 20 to 30 percent in the Alpine country in the last seven years.
China figures in the top five overseas markets for Swiss Deluxe Hotels, with people from this country making up for six per cent of their revenues. The other Asian countries have also contributed to this country’s tourist growth by contributing eight to 10 percent of their business, Barino said.
The Dolder Grand Zurich managing director, Mark Jacob, said more VACs means fewer obstacles for travellers from China. More second-generation Chinese travellers are arriving in Switzerland, according to Jacob.
India would also be on the list of the countries that Switzerland would be targeting. This country, located in the Alps, has always been one of the top tourist destinations for people from this country. If you also eagerly want to visit Switzerland, drop in any of 24 offices of Y-Axis located across India for advice on how to have a memorable trip there.