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  Beijing visa-free policy lures 10,000 visitors  
2014-03-18 12:47:18

Beijing has welcomed more than 10,000 transit passengers as of Oct 19, 2013 since it introduced a 72-hour visa-free policy at the start of the year.

Many of the 10,200 visitors were from Russia, the United States and Germany, the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection said.

Most of the travelers applying for visa-free stays took flights operated by Air China, followed by Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and S7 Airlines, it said.

Beijing also welcomed some small international tour groups under the visa-free policy.

Many travel agencies, including those in Oceania, Europe, Mongolia and Central Asia, brought foreign visitors to the capital under the new policy.

Compared with earlier this year, the application process has become much easier, said Ji Lixia, the general station's assistant director.

"It used to take tourists much time and effort to make these applications," Ji said. "Now, it only takes them two minutes to complete the application after they land, as we have simplified the process for the visa-waiver."

From Jan 1, visitors holding tickets and visas, where needed, for third countries have been able to visit Beijing visa-free for 72 hours as part of efforts to attract more foreign visitors to the capital.

The city has promised to promote the policy further to attract more international tourists.

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