China offers visa exemption for Europeans, Malaysians

By Hoang Phong   November 25, 2023 | 12:21 am PT
China offers visa exemption for Europeans, Malaysians
[1/5]People walk at a tourism site in Qianmen street, Beijing, China March 14, 2023. Photo by Reuters
China announced it would waive visa for citizens from five European countries France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain from Dec. 1.

Leisure, business and family travelers from these nations would be allowed to stay in China for up to 15 days without a visa, Reuters reported, adding that the trial visa-free policy would take effect until Nov. 30 next year.

The European Chamber of Commerce in China said the move would help boost business confidence.

"It is a positive that the authorities are taking steps to facilitate people-to-people exchanges," it said.

This year has seen a surge in interest in China as a tourist destination among Europeans.

Data from online travel agency shows a 663% year-on-year increase in overall bookings from Europe to China, and an almost 29% increase compared to 2019, according to Euro News. The U.K. and Germany were among the top 10 sources of inbound travelers to China globally, data shows.

China will also offer Malaysian tourists visa-free stays of up to 15 days starting Dec. 1, in its latest effort to lure tourists from the Southeast Asian country.

The visa-free policy for Malaysians will also be effective for one year, until Nov 30, 2024, reported the New Straits Times, citing a source from the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia.

Malaysian citizens holding ordinary passports who enter China for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes would be eligible for the visa-free policy.

Before the pandemic, China was the third largest source of tourist arrivals in Malaysia, which received about 3.1 million Chinese tourists in 2019, according to data from Tourism Malaysia.

Malaysia is expected to welcome at least 18 million international tourist arrivals in 2023, surpassing its initial target of 16.1 million.

go to top