Travel Tech

The European Union has decided to lower VISA criteria for Chinese tourists and meanwhile to accelerate the process of visa delivery (People's daily). In return, China wants to make visa delivery for foreigners easier and quicker, reports China Daily.


In 2013, 1.5 million Schengen visas have been applied for by Chinese people. China is the third country outside Schengen area in terms of number of Schengen visas applied for, after Russia and Ukraine. The EU has announced the launch of a new system of visa delivery destined to Chinese travellers by the 19th May 2015, to facilitate the issuance of visas for multiple entries in Europe with a validity period of 3 to 5 years.  Now, EU countries are competing to offer the fastest visa delivery to Chinese tourists. This year, France has launched a visa serviced 'delivered within 48 hours'. Some months afterwards, Italy announced to have launched a visa 'within 36 hours'. The UK will launch in August an 'express visa’ delivered within 24 hours and costing £600. This battle for the fastest visa tells us how the Chinese visitor market is seen over here in Europe.


China is also working to attract more tourists and facilitate fast visa delivery. China recently introduced a visa exemption scheme for people travelling in the country less than 72 hours. The country has announced that it will also include personalised deals and discounts along with visa, such as discounts in the airport, free shuttle from the airport to hotels and local sightseeing. Also, to stimulate tourism further, China is also offering tax refunds to any products bought in Beijing during the holiday periods. Beijing hopes to attract more tourists and become the new international destination for shopping, with plans to build a duty-free commercial area attracting foreign businesses, in particular from Russia.


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