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London’s highest and newest tourist attraction is to be used to attract more Chinese visitors to the UK.

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The Shard, which stands 1,016ft high, is set to open in the new year.

Representatives of The View from the Shard will be part of a large UK tourism delegation visiting Shanghai in China this week to promote UK tourism.

The 40 organisation-strong mission will also include promoters of the Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly and retailer John Lewis.

Research by VisitBritain shows that Chinese visitors are drawn to the UK by its rich culture and heritage, its countryside and its shopping experiences.

Last year a record 150,000 visitors arrived in the UK from China, spending £240million in the process. Over the last five years the UK has welcomed a 39 per cent rise in visits from China, and VisitBritain hopes that by 2020 it can attract an additional 233,000 visitors - a 156 per cent increase.

A VisitBritain delegation is also visiting Japan this week, with Japanese travel trade buyers meeting 18 British tourism businesses in Tokyo on Wednesday and Thursday.

In 2011, Britain welcomed a 6 per cent increase in arrivals from Japan, with 237,000 visitors spending £191m.

VisitBritain wants to push this annual figure up to almost 300,000 by 2020.

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