MADRID – China recently announced that it will no longer require visas for travellers from five European countries, including Spain. The question now is whether Spain will approve a similar measure to stimulate Chinese tourism.
This simplification of travel procedures could open the door for Spain to adopt a similar measure, in reciprocity, which could stimulate the arrival of highly valued Chinese tourism.
15 days stay without a visa
According to Cadenaser, China will allow travellers from Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and the Netherlands to enter the country without applying for a visa. However, they can only stay in the Asian country for 15 days.
One-year pilot program
The pilot plan will be valid for one year. If the experience proves positive, it can be extended in time and expanded to more countries. Mao Ning, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that the aim is to “facilitate the development of Chinese and foreign exchanges.”
Tourism in China and Spain
In the first half of 2023, China received 8.4 million foreign tourist arrivals. In contrast, the trend of Chinese tourists coming to Spain was upward. The peak occurred in 2019 with 700,748 visitors. However, the pandemic interrupted this progress and in 2022 only 56,646 Chinese came to Spain.
This development in the visa policy between China and Spain could give an important boost to tourism between both countries. However, it remains to be seen whether Spain will respond with a similar initiative.