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Extended visa policy stimulates exchanges between China and US

2014-11-17 15:10:25Source:People's Daily OnlineAuthor:

With President Obama's announcement of new extended visa policy in China, many travel agencies have welcomed the new policy as a stimulus that will result in an increasing number of Chinese people traveling to the US.

During Obama's visit to the 2014 APEC, he revealed that the US and China have agreed to adapt the visa policy so that it can benefit students and tourists in both countries. The new visa rule extends student visas to 5 years, and visitor visas to 10 years.

Statistics confirm that America has been one of the most desirable destinations for Chinese tourists for years. However, visa policy is the first concern for outbound travelers. As a result, Chinese visitors to the US represent only 1.8 percent of all outbound visitors.

A director with Chinese travel website Ctrip.com told journalists that more than 30,000 Chinese had visited the US through Ctrip.com in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 60 percent. With the new visa policy, it will be much more convenient for Chinese people to visit the US, and Ctrip.com specialists anticipate rapid growth in the coming 3 to 5 years.

Gao Xing, CEO of Qunar.com, another travel website in China, also thinks that the new visa policy will make life much easier for students and businessmen going to the US. With the increasing number of flights and the convenience in procuring a visa, Gao believes that more and more Chinese will go to the US for business, study, or leisure travel. Qunar.com has already started to focus on developing new US routes for 2015.

Based on statistics from the US Embassy in China, 1.8 million Chinese people have traveled to the US, making a financial contribution of more than 21 billion dollars and creating 109,000 job opportunities. By the year 2021, the anticipated number of Chinese visitors to the US will be more than 7.3 million. They will generate 85 billion dollars and create 440,000 job opportunities.

Students will benefit significantly from the new policy. The US Embassy statistics indicate that Chinese students and visiting scholars represent 30 percent of all visas issued, and represent the majority of foreign students studying in the US. The new five-year-visa will make life easier for this group, providing them with more time to find internships and work opportunities.