海南旅游免签(hǎinán lǚyóu miǎnqiān): Visa-free Hainan
China is to launch a 30-day visa-free policy in Hainan province for tourists from 59 countries. At a news conference on Wednesday, Qu Yunhai, deputy director of the new State Immigration Administration, said that people from these countries who book a tour through local travel agencies will be able to visit Hainan for 30 days visa-free. The new tourist visa-waiver policy in Hainan has been approved by the State Council, China's Cabinet, and will take effect on May 1.
As early as 2000 Hainan province allowed people from 21 countries that booked their travel through an authorized travel agency to visit the island for 15 days without a visa, and in 2010 the number of countries enjoying this visa-free policy expanded to 26. Thanks to its visa-free policy, over the past three years foreign tourists visiting Hainan through the visa-free channel have increased from 33 percent to 95 percent of the overall number of foreign tourists visiting Hainan.
This new policy, which aims to further support the deepening reform being implemented in Hainan in an all-round way, is a symbolic event in China's opening-up process. It is expected that the visa-free policy will help build Hainan into an international famous tourism island, and a pilot for a visa-waiver policy in other parts of the country.