China to resume issuing all category visas from Wednesday onwards. It is the first time since COVID-19 broke out China letting all type visitors to the country.
This final cross-border control measure implemented earlier to protect against COVID-19. This rule lifted as authorities declared victory over the virus last month.
Insiders in the tourism sector do not anticipate a major increase in tourism or an immediate boost to the economy. Only 0.9% of Chinese GDP made up of revenue from foreign tourism in 2019.
Guangdong, China’s most prosperous region, will once again allow foreigners from Hong Kong and Macau to enter without a visa. This is good news for high-end hotels that cater to international business travelers.
“The announcement that China will resume issuing nearly all type of visas for foreigners from tomorrow is positive for Australian businesses whose executives would like to travel to here to visit their China-based teams, customers and suppliers and to explore new business opportunities in the mainland market,” said Vaughn Barber, chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in China.
Chinese events that are available to foreign visitors are gradually starting up again. Examples include the China Development Forum in Beijing later this month and the Shanghai Autoshow in April. The Asian Games, which held in every four years, will be held in the eastern city of Hangzhou in September. Which was postponed due to China’s COVID worries.
Potential tourism is far away
However, potential tourists might not show up in large numbers right away.
According to a global survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in September, western democracies’ negative opinions of China have become more entrenched due to worries about human rights, Beijing’s assertive foreign policy, and suspicions regarding the handling of COVID-19.
“In terms of tourism, China is no longer a hotspot destination,” said an executive at China International Travel Services in Beijing, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“Commercially, the wish of foreigners to run events in China also decreased after COVID, because too many things here are impacted by politics which has scared them off.”