16.10.2023 Author: Yuliya Novitskaya

Latest News On Tourism to China

Visa in China

On March 15, China resumed issuing all types of visas to foreigners at its consulates around the world. Six months have passed. Does this mean that Russian tourists wishing to travel to China have been given the green light? Will the opening of the cable car between Russia and China affect the increase in tourist flow in both directions? What are the best places to visit in China in October and November? Maya Kotlyar, founder and head of the MAYEL Travel agency, one of the most cited public experts in tourism, answers these and other questions.

“Maya, since mid-March, when China began issuing visas to Russian tourists, there has been high demand, especially among business tourists. What is the situation today?”

“Indeed, demand has greatly increased and many business visas are being issued. Economic and business ties are being established; China is holding many exhibitions now. For the time being, it is difficult to give exact figures. They are expected in Q1’24.”

“When do you expect a more or less “full-fledged” China with sufficient tourist visa capacity and the launch of more direct flights? What other issues are facing the two countries, besides cancelling the double registration?”

“In the second half of next year. In addition to the cancellation of double registration, the issue related, among other things, to the flights of Chinese airlines to our country on an expanded scale has yet to be resolved.”

“Back in the spring, you predicted that the restoration of tourist flows from and to China would be very gradual…”

“It is so. For Russia, it starts from the Far East, since there are not enough transportation means for the central region, which is why we have low throughput capacity and high prices. The tourism industry is getting ready. For example, Russian business has already begun to travel there to visit exhibitions, negotiate a partnership with local companies and promote in the Russian market. New routes are being prepared for the Trans-Baikal Territory. The region is among the top 5 most popular Russian destinations among guests from China.”

“The cable car in Blagoveshchensk between China and Russia. Its construction was recently unfrozen. It is planned that after its commissioning, the road from Russia to China will take only 6 minutes. Maya, what are your forecasts and how will the functioning of this cable car affect Russian-Chinese tourism?”

“The project is very ambitious. The road’s capacity will be 1,788 passengers per hour in one direction. Annual passenger traffic in both directions is expected to be approximately 2.5 million. Forecast figures show that this is 100 % of the total pre-pandemic tourist flow from China to Russia. I find that hard to believe. Most likely, we will achieve this throughput capacity with the complete abolition of the visa regime with China and only by 2030.”

“Is there any solution to the problem with bank cards?”

“Not yet, unfortunately. You can pay with Union Pay cards.”

“What, in your opinion, is the potential for inbound and outbound tourism from and to China?”

“A maximum of 1.5 – 2 million people is the potential for outbound and inbound tourist flows, which we will only achieve closer to 2025. Now we need to try very hard to allow at least a quarter of the tourist flow through.

Ultimately, this highly depends on the abolition of the visa regime, expanding the coverage and geography of flights, resolving issues related to payments with foreign cards and, in general, working on the external attractiveness of routes.”

“What are the most attractive places to visit in China in October – November? The most unusual locations.”

“Of course, the most cosmic natural park in China, called the Avatar Mountains or Zhangjiajie Park. Giant stone pillars above the rainforest, rugged sharp peaks, waterfalls and caves. James Cameron took inspiration for his movie from this place. Interestingly, no scenes were actually filmed there and all the scenes were recreated using computer graphics.

Then, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Within the reserve, there are nurseries for different types of pandas, including red pandas, which are often confused with raccoons.

And finally, Universal Beijing Resort in Beijing is the largest Universal theme park in the world: dozens of shows and attractions in seven thematic areas: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Minion Land, Transformers, Jurassic World, Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, Hollywood and WaterWorld.

We guarantee you an unforgettable experience!”


Interviewed by Yuliya NOVITSKAYA, writer, journalist-interviewer, correspondent of the “New Eastern Outlook”.

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