Hainan will from May 1 offer 30-day visa-free access to 59 countries including Russia, Britain, France, Germany and the US, a move that is expected to bolster tourism to China’s southernmost province.
Under the new policy, group or individual tourists can visit Hainan visa-free and stay up to 30 days provided they book their tour through travel agencies.
The province has implemented a 15-day visa waiver policy for group visitors from 21 countries since 2000, and added another five countries to the list in 2010.
Last year, Hainan received nearly 320,000 tourists from the 26 countries with visa-free access, 3.5 times the number recorded in 2016. Tourists from Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, South Korea and Russia accounted for more than 90 per cent of the total.
Meanwhile, more direct flights are being planned to countries with visa-free access. Hainan already has 57 international flights to countries including Germany, Malaysia and Thailand, with plans for at least 16 new overseas routes this year. It aims to have at least 100 overseas routes by 2020.