China eases visa applications for US tourists

By Reuters   January 1, 2024 | 03:17 pm PT
China eases visa applications for US tourists
Travelers line up at check-in counters of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport as the Spring Festival travel season begins ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China, Jan. 28, 2021. Photo by Reuters
China simplified visa applications for tourists from the U.S. from Jan. 1, cutting the documents required, according to a notice on the website of the Chinese embassy in Washington.

The move is the latest by China to revive tourism and boost the world’s second-largest economy following a slump during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourist visa applicants in the U.S.will no longer need to submit air ticket bookings, hotel reservations, or an invitation letter, the embassy’s notice said.

Beijing earlier cleared the way for passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia to visit the country without visas from Dec 1.

Visa-free treatment will run for 12 months, during which tourists from those six countries can visit China for up to 15 days.

China also expanded its visa-free transit policy to 54 countries in November.

The number of inbound tourists to the country plummeted during the pandemic due to the country’s strict Covid-19 control policies.

International flights to China have picked up since Beijing dropped Covid-19 restrictions a year ago but are still only at 60% of 2019 levels.

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