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China Visitor Numbers Double After Visa Rules Lifted – SCMP

Some 14.64 million foreigners arrived in the first half of 2024, which was a 152% rise over last year, thanks to a jump in visa-free arrivals

Tourists from mainland China take photos of the Hong Kong skyline
Chinese officials have tried to ease barriers on tourists' booking accommodation, telling businesses not to turn away international visitors and removing a rule that required hotels to have a certificate allowing them to accept foreign guests. File photo of Hong Kong (Reuters).


The number of foreign tourists visiting China more than doubled in the first half of this year, according to a report by the South China Morning Post, which said data from the National Immigration Administration showed 14.64 million foreigners arrived in the country in the first half of 2024, which was a 152% rise over last year.

The country’s expansion of its visa-free travel policy appeared to help achieve this, the report said, adding that 8.5 million foreigners were visa-free entries and accounted for 58% of inbound trips. However, the overall number of visitors was still below the 15.53 million foreign travellers who visited China in the first half of 2019 prior to the Covid-19 crisis.

The new visa-free rules applied to more than a dozen countries in Europe, plus Australia. Some 23 countries, such as Thailand, have mutual visa exemptions, while people from Singapore and Malaysia can visit for up to 30 days at a time, it said.

Red the full report: South China Morning Post.



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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