Starting from Dec 1, 2019, more Chinese cities will begin offering 144-hour visa-free transit services to foreign travelers from 53 countries, Chinanews.com reported.
According to the National Immigration Administration on Wednesday, besides the newly added Ningbo city in Zhejiang province, the areas of Chongqing Municipality and Xi'an city, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, were also approved to extend their visa-free period for foreigners transiting through the cities from 72 hours to 144 hours, bringing the total cities to 20.
In recent years, China has launched more visa-related preferential policies for foreign visitors to better serve travelers and help boost tourism.
Since 2013, the State Council has approved the 72-hour visa-free transit in 18 cities for eligible international travelers and later extended the period to 144 hours in a number of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shijiazhuang and Shenyang. From Jan 1, 2019, more cities including Qingdao of Shandong province, Xiamen of Fujian province, Wuhan of Hubei province, Chengdu of Sichuan province, and Kunming of Yunnan province also implemented the policy.
According to China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, foreign travelers made 30.54 million trips to China in 2018, a 4.7 percent increase over 2017. The tourism revenue rose by 10.5 percent year-on-year to 5.97 trillion yuan ($856.5 billion) in 2018.
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