30. October 2013 04:52
Chengdu has now become the fourth city in People’s Republic of China to allow visa-free entry to travelers from foreign countries. This became effective from September this year. The other three Chinese cities that are already allowing visa-free entry to foreign travelers include Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Chengdu has now become the first inland city in China to offer a 72-hour visa-free stay to transit passengers.
According to the new aviation policy promulgated by China, visitors from 45 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Singapore, UAE, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands and others will be allowed up to 72 hours of city exploration while in transit. The direct transit passengers holding third-country visas and connecting air tickets would not be required to a visa to China while flying to Chengdu on international routes. The policy doesn’t allow the visitors using the visa to leave the city during the transit period, or else they may be warned, fined, detained or even expelled from China and prohibited re-entry. Qatar Airways and British Airways recently launched flights to Chengdu this year.
Chengdu had last year received 122 million tourists altogether, among which 1.6 million arrived from foreign countries. The new aviation policy is expected to help boost the local tourism economy and hasten the construction of a comprehensive transportation hub in western China.