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China's Airport Authorities suggest seven day transit period

In group discussions at the Third Session of the 13th Beijing People's Congress, both Capital Airports Holding Company and Beijing Tourism Administration suggested extending the transit without visa period to seven days from the current 24 hours to increase the number of inbound tourists visiting Beijing.

By 2015, Beijing Capital International Airport is expected to be a major international hub airport, and this a great opportunity for increasing the number of inbound tourists, according to Zhang Zhizhong, the general manager of Capital Airports Holding Company.

International tourist cities like Paris and Tokyo have more than 10 million inbound tourists each year. However compared with these cities, Beijing is far behind. According to Beijing Tourism Administration, the number of inbound tourists to Beijing was around 4.17 million in 2009. Many tourists transfer at Beijing Capital International Airport, but the 24-hour visa-free policy has stopped them visiting the city thoroughly and restricted them to wandering around the airport.

The seven-day free policy refers to allowing travelers to stay in a foreign country for a maximum of seven days without a visa. It is understood that BTA and CAH are communicating with the departments concerned to research and plan how to carry out this policy.