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New visa policy to benefit U.S., China tourism industries


16:55, February 13, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Insiders say the new U.S. visa application policy for Chinese, which took effect Monday, will benefit the tourism industries of both countries.

The new policy shortens the visa application process to three weeks, and Chinese applicants can renew their visas that have expired for less than four years without further interviews.

The U.S. embassy has also added 50 visa officers to its China service.

Its visa-processing capacity in China is likely to increase up to 40 percent this year, according to Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to China.

"This is definitely good news for domestic travel agencies running overseas tourism services," said Wei Bin, director of Vacation Service Department from the travel agency website

Wei said America became a new tourism market for China as group tours to the United States only started to be allowed in June 2008, when the United States began granting Approved Destination Status (ADS) visas to Chinese tourists.

Many Chinese tourists have preferred to visit Europe because it was easier for them to get visas.

Zhang Huiling, manager of America section with the Overseas Tour Department from the China Youth Travel Service (CYTS), said the time it took to get a visa to the United Stated affected people's willingness to visit there.

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