In 2023, the Chinese government fully reopened its borders and resumed issuing passports for its own people looking to travel. However, with the travel process still not being as simple as it once was, Chinese travellers are now targeting destinations that offer smoother and more convenient visa processes. Therefore, visa outsourcing companies must adapt and meet the growing demand in a re-emerging market. TLScontact recently renewed its contract with France in China and Southeast Asia for the next five years, extending its commitment to the recovery in the region.
Adapting throughout the pandemic
TLScontact handles the administrative aspects of the visa application process in China on behalf of the local diplomatic missions of France, the Netherlands, Cyprus and Israel, and recently renewed its contract with France in China and Southeast Asia for the next five years. Before 2020, TLScontact operated 15 centres in China. During the pandemic, despite travel bans and receiving no applications, a lot of effort was put into maintaining as many as 6 centres, in a show of faith and commitment by TLScontact to support the resurgence of Chinese travel once borders were once again opened. Local teams had to be redirected and provided support to Operations teams in other regions and our Technology department throughout this period. Retaining our core team in China provided us with agility and room for manoeuvre when reopening our centres this year.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have also maintained available appointments through a steady release of new times in coordination with our clients’ diplomatic missions,” says Wei Li, China Country Manager for TLScontact. “The consistent availability of appointments facilitates travel organisation, especially for the period of high demand.”
The borders have reopened – now what?
“We have noted a gradual increase in the recovery rate, going from 10% of pre-pandemic volumes at the beginning of the year to 40% in August,” adds Wei Li.
To manage the increase in visa applications and following the renewal of the TLScontact contract with France in China and Southeast Asia, we are expanding our team once again, growing from a core team of around 60 members during the pandemic to over 300 in August 2023, and counting. The core team has proved to be invaluable in bringing new members up to speed quickly. We are leveraging the Cloud Campus approach of Teleperformance Group, a next-generation work-at-home model providing a revolutionary approach for hiring, managing, and optimising remote teams. Comprehensive training sessions are now jointly organised for new hires across all centres, with operational experts situated in one central location leading these sessions for colleagues joining from 15 different centres. This approach has led to a substantial enhancement in training quality and efficiency. The training curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including knowledge of visa requirements, TLScontact tools, quality customer service, and much more.
Inauguration of a new visa application centre in Chengdu
One of the recent highlights is the inauguration of our new centre in Chengdu in September, the first in a series of planned centre openings and renovations in China. This strategic move sets the tone for the rest of the year, marked by our commitment to expansion in support of the recovery in the Chinese travel industry.
With an expanded team and 15 brand new centres reopened by the end of 2023, TLScontact is shaping and supporting the post-pandemic travel recovery while working closely with diplomatic missions to navigate the intricacies of differing visa requirements. “A lot of credit goes to our clients’ diplomatic missions, who have also adapted to the growing demand and increased their own processing capabilities to keep up with the number of applications,” says Wei Li.
TLScontact visa centres are ready to receive a much higher volume of applications than in pre-pandemic years, revitalising the tourism sectors of our government clients, and reaffirming the status of TLScontact as a reliable partner to diplomatic missions and travellers alike.