China¡¯s Guangdong extends visa-free policy to 21 cities
Foreign visitors to China’s southern Guangdong province will now be allowed a visa-free stay of up to 144 hours, authorities have announced.
The move, which came into effect on May 1, extends the previous 72-hour visa-free period.
Visitors from 53 countries will be able to visit all of Guangdong’s 21 prefecture-level cities, according to Guangdong Department of Public Security’s deputy director general Lin Weixiong.
Visitors can arrive via the province’s three major international airports -- Guangzhou Baiyun, Shenzhen and Jieyang Chaoshan – and also enter and depart via four rail, eight land and 15 water ports, Lin said at a news conference, state-run China Daily reported.
Special channels in airports, rail, land and water ports are in place to help travellers through the new visa procedures.
The visa change will play an active role in promoting tourism and business within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Chinese government's scheme to link the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing into an integrated economic and business hub.
In 2018, tourism in Guangdong generated 1.36 trillion yuan (US$201 billion), a 13.5% increase from the previous year, with more than 37.5 million overnight visitors, an increase in 2.8% compared to the year before.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is one of China’s busiest, handling more than 70 million passengers alone last year -- a figure that’s expected to rise to 80 million by 2020.
(Source : Travel Weekly Asia)