China's visa-free policy fuels surge in international visitors

(People's Daily Online) 13:57, July 10, 2024

The "China Travel" hashtag has emerged as a potent tool for online influencers seeking international attention, while Chinese tourist attractions are experiencing a significant increase in foreign visitors, according to recent data and trends.

Data from online travel agency Ctrip shows that China's 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy has driven inbound tourism growth. In the second quarter of this year, travel orders from tourists from 54 countries covered by the visa-free transit policy increased by nearly 30 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Chinese cities like Changsha, Harbin, and Guilin have a 72-hour visa-free transit policy, while Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Guangzhou have a 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

Nearly 15 million foreign nationals entered China through various ports in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 152.7 percent, according to the National Immigration Administration (NIA).

Of these, over 8.5 million entries were made under the visa-free policy, accounting for 52 percent and representing a year-on-year increase of 190.1 percent.

International tourists go sightseeing at Binjiang Avenue, the Bund, Shanghai, on June 2, 2024. (China News Service/Yin Liqin)

Many international tourists are no longer satisfied with traditional sightseeing and are seeking more diverse and unique experiences when visiting China.

Shanghai, aiming to be the top choice for inbound tourism in China, has introduced 10 tour routes showcasing the city's distinctive tourism offerings. One route allows international visitors to accompany Chinese chefs to local vegetable markets, providing a glimpse into the everyday life of Shanghai's residents.

Ctrip data shows that inbound tourism orders increased by 42 percent in 23 Chinese cities in the second quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter.

Ge Lei, an expert from the China Tourism Association, emphasized the importance of building an attractive image of China that appeals to global tourists.

He also highlighted the need for a comprehensive and foreigner-friendly public service system that provides convenience in areas like visa application, transportation, payment, internet access, and language support.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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