China seeks visa-free policy with Russia
- Posted by Daniel Meesak
- On 19th November 2015
- china, policy, russia, spending, visa
China has expressed its willingness to make tourism a way of bolstering its ties with Russia, and it is now encouraging Russia to ease visa restrictions to make it easier for Chinese tourists to visit the neighbouring country to the north. There has already been some progress, resulting in growing Chinese tourism to Russia, as the visa requirement was abolished for tour groups from China with more than five participants.
Gui Congyou of the European-Central Asian Affairs department at China’s Foreign Ministry said, “we are going to continue easing the bilateral visa regime for tourists all the way to abolishing visas altogether” emphasising that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia in the past two years has doubled, exceeding 1.1 million visitors per year.
Gui Congyou also emphasised the economic opportunities presented by Chinese tourism to Russia: “Almost half a million [Chinese] visited St. Petersburg last year alone and if we bring this annual figure to five million this would bring a lot of money to the Russian budget. With each Chinese tourist coming to Russia spending around $2,000, this would amount to nearly $10 billion a year”.
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Source: Sputnik International