CCTV-News / CNTV
unveils 72-hour transit visa...
December 6, 2012
Beijing unveils 72-hour transit visa waiver
12-06-2012 09:20 BJT
A pilot program will be rolled out in Beijing on January 1st next year, allowing overseas visitors to stop over in the Chinese capital for three days without a visa. This opens up the city to travellers from 45 countries, and policymakers are hoping the move will increase Beijing’s attractiveness as an international destination.
Starting from January 1st, 2013, visitors from 45 countries with a connecting ticket stopping over in Beijing can visit the Chinese capital for three days, without having to apply for a visa.
The move comes as Beijing vies to become a more desirable and accessible destination for international visitors.
Wang Yue, Deputy Director of Beijing Toursim Administration, said, "The percentage of foreign tourists in Beijing is less than 3%, it’s 18% lower than the global average. Our airline industry still has huge potential to develop. More flexible visa policies are critical to this."
The number of international passengers transiting in Beijing is estimated to rise to 1.3 million by 2015. Around half of these will enter the city under the visa waiver policy.
David Brookman, Business Traveller, said, "It’s very great. My home in US is very far away from the embassy, and I have to wait for 2 weeks or more for the visa. Now it will be much more convenient for me."
In 2011, around five million overseas travellers visited Beijing. Average spend was a thousand U.S. dollars per person, excluding accommodation and airfares. That’s around twice as much as what Chinese tourists spend, and policymakers are banking on these deep pockets to support growth in Beijing’s tourism, retail, food and beverage and entertainment industries.
CCTV-News / CNTV
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