Visa-free policy boosts arrivals
( China Daily USA )
A total of 39,000 visits to China were made using the 144-hour visa-free entry policy within a year of its implementation, according to the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection.
As of the end of January, 36,000 passenger trips at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport were made due to the policy, a surge of more than 80 percent compared to the previous 72-hour visa-free policy.
Authorities also said that the airport had issued about 3,000 144-hour visa-free border entry permits every month in the past year, and 620 foreign tourists had specially applied for the visa in order to celebrate the New Year in China. In addition, the number of places that foreigners arrive from have increased from 51 to 53.
"My friend who works in Shanghai suggested that I take advantage of the visa policy to visit the city. I think the visa-free policy is quite useful for travelers like us who are heading to different cities and regions for trips," said Sofie Ravier, a French tourist who spent the New Year in Shanghai with her family.
China's first cross-region visa-free transit policy took effect on Jan 30 last year. It allows foreign visitors to pass through the Yangtze River Delta to a third destination without a visa within 144 hours. Those who benefit from the policy include people traveling through Shanghai's airports, ports and railway stations, Nanjing Lukou airport in Jiangsu province and Hangzhou Xiaoshan airport in Zhejiang province.
"The visa-free policy is expected to attract more foreign tourists to Shanghai and its nearby areas and it will contribute to the economic and tourism development in the Yangtze River Delta," said a senior officer of Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection.