Tan said the policy will help boost tourism in
Since Jan 1, travelers from 45 countries have been benefiting from 72-hour visa-free stays in
Tourists holding third country visas and plane tickets are allowed to apply for a transit without visa at the
Foreign visitors are not permitted to leave the cities to travel to other Chinese cities during the 72 hours, and have to depart from the two cities.
"If the negotiations go smoothly, the policy will be implemented in
"Optimizing the transit service is a priority for us this year to attract more foreign passengers", said Tan, adding that tourists would be able to travel to sites around the Pearl River Delta region within those 72 hours.
Since the policy was introduced in January,
The number of inbound tourists to
Tan was speaking after an agreement was signed on Monday between the airline and a delegation led by
The Guangzhou-based airline is the only domestic carrier that flies to
Under the agreement,
"The Guangzhou-Auckland daily flight has become a major route for the company and is in high demand by both Chinese and foreign travelers," said Tan, adding the service has boosted the number of Chinese tourists to New Zealand by almost 40 percent since it was launched.
But agencies in
Lu Yujing, a sales manager with GZL International Travel Service, said: "A growing number of foreign business travelers have canceled their trips due to the global economic downturn.
"The authorities should introduce some incentive measures, such as the visa-free transit policy, to attract more foreign visitors."