China allowed the departure of groups of tourists to a number of countries

The prospects for opening China itself for tourists from Russia are still vague 0b21357.jpg” alt=”China allowed groups of tourists to travel to a number of countries” />

From February 6, the Chinese authorities allow trips for organized tourist groups to Russia and a number of other countries, the Ministry reports culture and tourism of the PRC.

“From February 6, 2023, travel agencies and online companies across the country resume, in an experimental mode, the organization of outbound group tours and the “air ticket + hotel” service for Chinese citizens to the relevant countries,” the agency said in a statement

Chinese tourists will be able to freely visit: Argentina, Hungary, Egypt, Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Cuba, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Fiji, Philippines, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and South Africa .

Chinese tourists are the most likely to leave their country for holidays, and they also spend the most money. In 2019, 155 million Chinese went on holiday abroad. They spent $255 billion, or a quarter of the world's tourism income. By comparison, American tourists, the second largest international contingent, spent nearly half that amount.

Experts believe that, most likely, trips to Russia will begin closer to summer. CEO of China Tour & Business Travel Sergey Jan Sha emphasized that the decision of the Chinese side alone would not be enough: this requires, first of all, the lifting of restrictions on entry into Russia, as well as the full resumption of flights by Chinese carriers. The process of debugging flight programs can take several months.

 “In any case, this news is good for us. We are waiting for tourists from China, we are ready for their arrival, and, perhaps, such messages will contribute to the speedy resolution of issues with visas and payments,” says Marina Levchenko, general director of the Tari Tour tour operator.

The question of retaliatory measures for Russians who are currently unable to apply for tourist visas remains open.

At the moment, there are no clear instructions from the Russian authorities regarding visa-free entry for citizens China, and it is also unclear how Chinese banks will make payments.

Experts previously assessed the prospects for opening China itself for tourists from Russia in different ways. Some of them think it's too early to talk about it. The head of Yi-Lin Tourism, Konstantin Gromov, notes that it is necessary to wait until the end of the Chinese New Year, which this year will be celebrated until February 5. Only after some time it will become clear whether China is ready to accept tourists from other countries.

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