After three long years of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has announced that it will fully reopen its borders to foreign tourists starting Wednesday, allowing all categories of visas to be issued. This decision has come as a relief to many, especially those who had been waiting to visit the country for business or leisure.
China’s move to reopen its borders is significant, as the country has taken a cautious approach to international travel due to the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, China had strict regulations for tourists, with a complex process for obtaining a visa. However, this time, the government has decided to simplify the visa application process to attract more tourists to the country.
Foreign travelers will no longer have to follow China’s previous restrictive visa policies, which required an invitation letter from a Chinese government agency or a local travel agency to visit. Instead, tourists will now be able to apply for a visa directly through the Chinese embassy or consulate, which will make the process much more accessible and efficient.
The reopening of China’s borders is expected to have a significant impact on the tourism industry in the country, which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. According to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the number of international tourists to China in 2020 decreased by over 80% compared to the previous year.
This decrease in international tourists has had a severe impact on China’s tourism industry, which had been growing steadily before the pandemic. In 2019, China received 144 million international tourists, contributing over $130 billion to the country’s economy.
The government’s decision to reopen its borders is expected to boost the tourism industry, as China’s attractions and natural beauty have been popular among tourists for years. From the Great Wall to the Terracotta Warriors, China is home to some of the world’s most famous tourist destinations.
However, there are still concerns about the reopening of China’s borders. Many countries are still struggling to contain the pandemic, and there is a risk of importing new cases of COVID-19 into China. To prevent this, China has put in place strict measures for foreign tourists, including mandatory COVID-19 testing and quarantine upon arrival.
Foreign tourists are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours before boarding their flight to China. Upon arrival, they will be tested again and placed in a 14-day quarantine at a designated hotel. The cost of the quarantine and testing will be covered by the tourists themselves.
China has also put in place strict protocols for tourists visiting tourist sites, including temperature checks, mask-wearing, and social distancing measures. These measures are necessary to protect both tourists and locals from the spread of COVID-19.
In conclusion, China’s decision to fully reopen its borders to foreign tourists after a three-year hiatus is a significant step towards reviving its tourism industry. While there are still concerns about the pandemic, the government’s strict protocols are expected to minimize the risk of importing new cases. The move is expected to have a positive impact on the country’s economy, as the travel industry is one of the major contributors to its GDP. Tourists can now enjoy the country’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty without the restrictions that were previously in place.