Visa-free entry allowed for tour groups at all cruise ports

Updated: May 17, 2024 By YANG ZEKUN China Daily Print
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International cruise transportation to and from Chinese ports fully resumed in September 2023, and China handled over 107,000 cruise passengers last year, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Zhu Zhenyu, deputy director of the ministry's Water Transport Bureau, said there are currently 21 international cruise ships operating at Chinese ports.

"The cruise transportation market is thriving, and passenger numbers are expected to steadily recover and increase in 2024," he said.

Shi Zeyi, deputy director of the International Exchange and Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, noted the positive growth of the inbound cruise tourism market, saying that from February to April, over 14,000 tourists from over 40 countries and regions visited China aboard cruise ships.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other departments are streamlining the entire inbound tourism process, addressing issues and optimizing visa and customs policies, improving tourism services, and enhancing the management of and the shopping environment at cultural and tourism sites, Shi said.

To address payment difficulties faced by foreign tourists, the ministry, the People's Bank of China, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the National Cultural Heritage Administration issued a notice in April requiring all 5A- and 4A-rated tourist destinations, national- and provincial-level tourist resorts, national-level tourist culture streets, and three-star to five-star hotels to accept domestic and international bank cards.

Major cultural and tourism places should maintain manned ticket windows and support cash payments, the notice said. Currency exchange services at cultural and tourism venues with a large number of foreign visitors should be enhanced, and mobile payment services should also be optimized, it added.

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