Beijing debuts new 72-hour, visa-free policy


With the coming new year, Beijing will start employing a 72-hour visa-free stay for travelers from 45 countries with outbound air tickets.  The new policy begins on January 1, 2013.

The United States and Great Britain are both on the list of 45 countries which will be allowed to participate.

The policy of a visa-free short term stay is not new to China.  Shanghai has a 48-hour visa-free policy for travelers from selected countries who are flying on to other destinations.

The Wall Street Journal's China Real Time Report blog says that although the offer may sound tempting it hasn't seen a boom in takers at least in Shanghai.  In 2010, only 3,000 travelers took advantage of the city's 48-hour visa-free policy, the blog quotes from the state-run Shanghai Daily.

Air China has also announced that it will be working with local Beijing tour operators to create special 72-hour tours of Beijing to take advantage of the new policy, largely designed to bring in tourism revenue to the city by targeting business travelers using Beijing as a transit hub.


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