Visa-free pol­icy boosts ar­rivals

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A to­tal of 39,000 vis­its to China were made us­ing the 144-hour visa-free en­try pol­icy within a year of its im­ple­men­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Shang­hai Gen­eral Sta­tion of Im­mi­gra­tion In­spec­tion.

As of the end of Jan­uary, 36,000 pas­sen­ger trips at Shang­hai’s Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port were made due to the pol­icy, a surge of more than 80 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous 72-hour visa-free pol­icy.

Author­i­ties also said that the air­port had is­sued about 3,000 144-hour visa-free border en­try per­mits ev­ery month in the past year, and 620 for­eign tourists had spe­cially ap­plied for the visa in or­der to cel­e­brate the New Year in China. In ad­di­tion, the num­ber of places that for­eign­ers ar­rive from have in­creased from 51 to 53.

“My friend who works in Shang­hai sug­gested that I take ad­van­tage of the visa pol­icy to visit the city. I think the visa-free pol­icy is quite use­ful for trav­el­ers like us who are head­ing to dif­fer­ent cities and re­gions for trips,” said Sofie Ravier, a French tourist who spent the New Year in Shang­hai with her fam­ily.

China’s first cross-re­gion visa-free tran­sit pol­icy took ef­fect on Jan 30 last year. It al­lows for­eign vis­i­tors to pass through the Yangtze River Delta to a third des­ti­na­tion with­out a visa within 144 hours. Those who ben­e­fit from the pol­icy in­clude peo­ple trav­el­ing through Shang­hai’s air­ports, ports and rail­way sta­tions, Nan­jing Lukou air­port in Jiangsu prov­ince and Hangzhou Xiaoshan air­port in Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

“The visa-free pol­icy is ex­pected to at­tract more for­eign tourists to Shang­hai and its nearby ar­eas and it will con­trib­ute to the eco­nomic and tourism de­vel­op­ment in the Yangtze River Delta,” said a senior of­fi­cer of Shang­hai Gen­eral Sta­tion of Im­mi­gra­tion In­spec­tion.

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