September 17, 2012

72-hour drop-inns to boost Beijing visits

The Beijing municipal government will allow foreigners landing in Beijing but destined for other countries 72 hours to roam around the city without having to apply for a visa, in a move designed to promote the capital’s tourism industry, Ding Xiangyang, the city’s deputy mayor, said over the weekend. Ding was quoted by the Beijing News as saying on Saturday that the visa-free entry policy will bring Beijing an increase in the number of visitors and tourism revenue. Ding said the new regulation has just been approved but did not say when it would be put into practice or which countries will be covered. Ding said around 5 million foreign tourists visit Beijing annually, and he expects the number to double over the next three years. “Foreign tourists spend an average of 1,000 dollars, more than three times as much as domestic travelers,” he noted. The city government and the Beijing Tourism Development Committee could not be reached for comment Sunday. The Beijing News reported that experts estimated that the policy will inject some 4 billion yuan ($633.42 million) into the capital’s economy every year. Currently, foreign travelers who are transiting through Beijing are allowed a maximum stay of 24
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