With the easing of border measures after three years, the demand of Chinese citizens to travel abroad has led to an increase in requests for visa applications in recent times.

As Global Times reports, all slots for visa applicants from China to the United States for temporary business and tourism visas have entirely been booked until October this year. Meanwhile, regarding the visa application slots for France, are entirely booked until August, VisaGuide.World reports.

According to an employee surnamed Dong at a travel agency based in Beijing, last month, there was a significant increase amongst Chinese citizens applying for visas to Europe. At the same time, he said that visa applications to Southeast Asia have continued to grow since the first month of this year.

In addition, the employee also pointed out that the increase in the demand for visas for the Schengen area has been driven mostly by business visa applications with a total of 70 percent, which means that compared to the pre-pandemic period, the number of business visa applications has doubled.

The same has urged customers who cannot book a travel visa application for European countries to apply for visas from countries in Southeast Asia, or instead travel to countries that are visa-free for Chinese citizens, such as Belarus, Serbia, Maldives, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Mauritius.

According to the VisaGuide Passport Index, the Chinese passport is ranked the 120th in the world in terms of passport power. This means that Chinese citizens are allowed to travel without visas to 40 countries of the world, but they need visas to enter the rest of the world. Visa-free countries include those where entry is possible without a visa or with a visa on arrival.

Another sales manager at a travel agency based in Guangzhou, Zheng, told Global Times that among the most favorite destinations for Chinese tourists are neighboring countries such as Thailand and Singapore.

Zheng also pointed out that when it comes to short trips abroad, Japan is the first choice for many Chinese citizens. He revealed that during the first three months of this year, the number of daily requests for visas has increased by 30 percent compared to last year and the number of visa applications has exceeded 50 percent compared to 2019.

Moreover, data provided from Ctrip.com indicates that the top five countries for visa applications in the last month are as follows:

  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • South Korea

Even though the Dragon Boat Festival holidays aren’t until June 22-24, eager travelers are already starting to secure their overseas plans. Thus, over the past weekend, there was a marked increase in searches for outbound tickets on Ctrip, with most departures scheduled before the Dragon Boat Festival.

The most sought-after destinations include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

Besides, a report by Mastercard shows that Chinese tourists venturing abroad are now spending more and staying longer compared to the period from January 2019 to March 2020.

The average length of a trip has risen from nine to eleven days, and the average budget for these travelers has seen a 16 percent increase, reaching 39,800 yuan or approximately $5,677. In 2023, spending by Chinese tourists in Europe rebounded to 49 percent of the 2019 levels, as per data from Global Blue, a company specializing in tourism shopping tax refunds.

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