BEIJING: China will simplify visa applications for tourists from the United States from Jan 1, cutting the documents needed, according to a notice on Friday (Dec 29) on the website of the Chinese embassy in Washington.
The move is the latest by China to revive tourists and boost the world’s second-largest economy following a slump during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourist visa applicants in the US will no longer need to submit plane ticket bookings, hotel reservations or an invitation letter, the embassy’s notice said.
Beijing earlier cleared the way for passport users from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia to visit the country without visas from Dec 1.
Visa-free treatment will run for 12 months, during which people from those six countries can visit China for up to 15 days.
China also expanded its visa-free transit programme to 54 countries in November.
The number of incoming tourists to the country plummeted during the pandemic due to the country’s strict COVID-19 control policies.
International flights to China have picked up since Beijing dropped COVID-19 limits a year ago but are still only at 60 per cent of 2019 levels.