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China extends visa-free entry for foreigners

To increase tourist attraction, China is expanding its 72-hour visa-free travel policy, according to the Shanghai Daily. The authorities are currently working on measures to expedite visa processing for international transit passengers. This, according to the official China, will help attract tourists not only from neighboring countries in the Asia-Pacific region, but also from Africa, Central and Eastern Europe.

When Beijing introduced the three-day stay visa-free policy for the city of 2013 in January, the results fell short of expectations. Transit flow increased slightly. However, after a few months, the situation began to improve, and already in January 2014, the number of transit tourists almost doubled as compared with January 2013. Currently, the 72-hour visa-free policy is valid in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, and Guilin.

As noted by "Shanghai Daily", along with the thinning flow of foreign tourists entering China, the number of Chinese leaving for tourist purposes abroad is increasing. According to the China Tourism Academy, the gap in money spent by Chinese tourists overseas and foreigners spending in the PRC is estimated at about USD 100 billion.

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