Visa policy for Hainan to Allow Visa-Free Stay for 1 Month
The tropical island of Hainan will allow foreign tourists from 59 countries to stay for up to one month without a visa, according to the State Immigration Administration on Wednesday.
Previously, only tourists from 26 countries and traveling in groups had been allowed to visit Hainan without a visa for up to between 15-21 days before the change.
Under the new rule, individual travelers will also be welcome, as well as citizens from 33 more countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, France, Brazil, Portugal, Ireland, Germany and Russia.
It said the new visa scheme will only apply to groups and individuals who book their trips through travel agencies.
The measure will come into effect on May 1, putting Hainan on a par with the special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau in terms of attracting foreign tourists.
The announcement comes a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to Hainan to take part in the BOAO Forum for Asia.
Following the visit, the Chinese government announced plans to convert the island into a free trade zone housing large foreign firms.
Hainan, which until a few decades ago survived mainly on fishing and agriculture, has turned into a major tourist hotspot in recent years, and has witnessed a rapid development of the hospitality industry.
China, the world’s fourth largest tourist destination after Spain, France and the US, has looked to attract more foreign tourists in recent years with visa exemptions for visitors to major cities.
Countries that can avail of the visa free policy
Russia、UK、French、Germany、Norway、Ukraine、Italy、Austria、Finland、Holland、Denmark、Switzerland、Sweden、Spain、Belgium、Czech、Estonia、Greece、Hungary、Iceland、Latvia、Lithuania、Luxembourg、Malta、Poland、Portugal、Slovakia、 Ireland 、 Cyprus、Bulgaria、Rumania、Serbia、Croatia、Bosnia and Herzegovina、Republic of Montenegro、Macedonia、Albania、
South Korea、Japan、Singapore、Malaysia、Thailand、Kazakhstan、Philippines、Indonesia、Brunei、United Arab Emirates、Katar、Monaco、The Republic of Belarus.
Travelling to Mainland China with visa waiver policy:
Visitors entering Hainan Island with visa waiver policy can not travel to Mainland China, only stay on Hainan Island, for up to 30 days.
Please note that you MUST travel from outside of China including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to be eligible for the Hainan Visa Waiver Policy, NOT from any city on Mainland China.