Beijing plans to ratchet up promotion of visa-free stays

Beijing plans to ratchet up promotion of visa-free stays

Beijing will produce more incentives and work harder to promote its 72-hour visa waiver to attract more transit passengers.

Authorities in the Chinese capital said they are considering offering discounts at hotels and shopping areas for tourists, as well as working more with airlines to publicize the policy more.

Beijing Capital International Airport's planning and development department said visitors might get exclusive discounts on dining and free accommodation if they spend a certain amount at the airport.

The Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection also said it will cooperate more with airlines, flight associations home and abroad, and tourism bureaus to make sure more travelers are informed of the visa exemption.

The station promised to simplify the transit application process.

Ji Lixia, the general station's assistant director, said the process has become easier than it was earlier this year, when applying for the visa exemption took a lot of time and effort, and that it now takes tourists only two minutes after they land.

"Our staff members are fluent in English and 18 other languages to ensure the language barrier does not stand in the way of transit tourists," she said.

"The number of daily applicants has soared to 60. That's impressive compared with the handful of tourists in January."

A Russian visitor who arrived in Beijing on Friday said it was the first time he had tried the 72-hour visa waiver, and found it convenient.

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