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Day 1 of Hainan's new visa-free policy sees 767 tourists

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-05-02


141 South Koreans taking the 7C8601 flight to Hainan become the province's first visa-free tourists after the adoption of new policies. [Photo by Yuan Chen/Hainan Daily APP]

Hainan province adopted new visa-free entry policies for overseas visitors from 59 countries and regions on May 1.

According to the Exit-entry Administration Bureau of the Public Security Department of Hainan Province, 767 foreign tourists traveled by six flights landing at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport benefitted from new visa-free entry policies up to 6:10 pm on the first day. Their countries included South Korea, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Russia.

Later that day, visa-free tourist groups from Astana, Novosibirsk and Indonesia arrived at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport and Haikou Meilan International Airport.

One hundred and forty-one South Koreans taking the 7C8601 flight to Hainan became the first visa-free tourists after the adoption of the new policies. They will spend six days and four nights in Sanya and other cities and counties in Hainan.


Foreign tourists receive a warm welcome with bouquets. [Photo/Hainan Daily APP]

Since May 1, the number of countries allowed to enjoy visa-free policy has grown from 26 to 59, encompassing major tourist source countries such as Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Individuals can stay in Hainan for a period of 30 days without a tour group. 

On May 1 last year, 661 visa-free group members from 26 countries visited Hainan, while the number increased to 767 visitors from 59 countries on the same day this year, generating a tourist number growth of 16 percent year on year. 

The Exit-entry Administration Bureau also revised related regulations issued in 2010 to guarantee smooth implementation of new policies. On April 29, the pre-declaration system for foreign tourist visa-free groups about to visit Hainan became available.  


China Immigration Inspection staffer checks the identity of a foreign tourist. [Photo/Hainan Daily APP]

To attract more tourists, Gaoli Holiday Travel Agency has advertised Hainan tourism on several famous online travel platforms in South Korea with the support of the Hainan Tourism Development Commission. Data showed that Sanya treated 58.7 percent more South Korean tourists last year compared to the year before, making the country the largest tourist generating place in Asia, second only to Russia.

According to Min Caixing, vice-general manager of the travel agency, South Koreans are mainly attracted by Hainan's beautiful natural scenery, characteristic cultural atmosphere, colorful national customs and Buddhist culture. He hoped that more flights will be arranged to enable an increasing number of South Koreans to visit Hainan which requires a flight of just four hours.