Beijing is to allow short term visitors to explore the capital city without the need for a China visa.
18 September 2012
Beijing to waive China visa requirement for short stays
Beijing has recently announced visitors the capital city will no longer require a China visa if their stay is less than 72 hours.
Beijing is often used as a transit city between both international and domestic destinations but many passengers are often left stranded in the airport due to stringent China visa requirements.
However, in an effort to boost the city's growing tourism appeal, Ding Xiangyang, vice mayor of Beijing, has said visitors will no longer require a visa to visit the city for up to 72 hours.
The move is expected to bring in as much as 400 million RMB a year (£39 million) to the city's economy.
A number of other Chinese cities, including Shanghai, also have visa free periods; Shanghai allows visitors from 32 countries, including the UK, the US, Japan, France, Germany and Switzerland, to visit the city for 48 hours while they await flight connections.
Shanghai police have confirmed almost 3,000 people took advantage of their 48 hours last year and the Beijing State Council, who have already approved Mr Ding's announcement, are hoping Beijing's arrangement will prove even more popular.
While no timetable has yet been announced for the new policy's implementation, plans have already been drawn up to extend the visa free window to allow for port and rail transfers too.
The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Chinese visa and immigration services.