Aug. 23 – Following Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Chengdu will become the fourth city in China to adopt the 72 hour visa-free stay policy. The policy, which is scheduled to take effect on September 1, will make Chengdu China’s first inland city to offer a 72 hour visa-free stay to transit passengers.
Starting from September 1, foreign passengers from the following 45 countries with a valid visa and flight ticket to another country can stay up to 72 hours in Chengdu as well as the cities and counties under its administration.
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Such travelers shall strictly abide by the 72-hour requirement, as those who overstay may be fined, detained or even be deported from the country.
Last year, Chengdu received 122 million tourists in total, among which 1.6 million came from abroad. The policy is expected to help boost the local tourism economy and expedite the construction of a comprehensive transportation hub in western China.
Beijing and Shanghai were the first two cities in the country to roll out the 72 hour visa-free stay policy. From January 1, 2013, tourists entering China with visas and departing plane tickets for another country can apply for “transit without visa” at Beijing International Airport and the two international airports in Shanghai, Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport.
On August 1, 2013, Guangzhou became the third city in China to implement the 72 hour visa-free stay policy. Foreign passengers who transit at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport can enjoy a visa-free stay in Guangdong Province for up to 72 hours. However, such tourists have to depart from Baiyun Airport once their stay in the province is over.
Around 730,000 foreign passengers transit via China Southern Airlines at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport each year, offering a huge potential market for the local tourism industry. The 72 hour visa-free stay policy is expected to bring RMB5 billion of tourism revenue to Guangdong Province.
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