On Wednesday, 1 April 2018, China´s State Immigration Administration announced at a press conference that, starting from 1 May 2018, China will adopt a new 30-day-visa-free policy in Hainan province for people from 59 countries.
The island has granted visa-free entries to foreign tourists from 21 countries since 2000, but they had to travel in tour groups of five people and more. The number of nationalities benefiting from this regulations was increased to 26 in 2010.
VISA-FREE TRAVEL TO CHINA’S HAWAII
Hainan is often referred to as “China´s Hawaii” since it is a tropical island on the southern end of China with Vietnam to the West and the Philippines to the East. More than half of the GDP in Hainan is coming from the service industry which is 446,3 billion yuan (70,9 billion US$). The province is well known as a destination for domestic as well as foreign tourists. These numbers are now expected to increase since it became the center of initiatives to boost the inbound tourism market and the financial sector to transform the island into an international tourist destination and a free trade port.
Also, since 2002, the small city Bo´ao in Hainan is the host for the “Boao Forum For Asia Annual Conference” which is considered to be the Asian equivalent of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
VISA-FREE ENTRY FOR 59 NATIONALITIES
The countries benefiting from the new rule are:
Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Ukraine, Italy, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Czech, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco, Belarus, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Richard Hoffmann is a partner at ECOVIS Beijing China. Richard obtained an honors degree in law and worked in Germany, the United States, and China for various prestigious law firms prior to joining ECOVIS. In addition to being a member of the board of ECOVIS International, he is Supervisor for the China business of a respected German company and shares his extensive knowledge to students by teaching commercial law in China at SRH Hochschule Heidelberg. He has published more than fifty articles in international magazines, frequently speaks at high profile events in China and abroad and is often invited as a legal expert by international TV stations. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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