Mutual visa exemption between China, Georgia to promote bilateral cooperation with surge in tourism

2024-04-12 Global Times Editor:Li Yan

China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday said that the mutual visa exemption agreement signed with Georgia will further promote cross-border travels and enhance communication and cooperation at various fronts for the two countries.

According to this agreement, which was signed by Ambassador of China to Georgia Zhou Qian and Georgia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilia Darchiashvili, holders of valid ordinary passports of both countries can enter, exit or transit through each other's country without a visa, provided that they stay for no longer than 30 days per visit and no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period.

Travelers from both sides reached by the Global Times expressed excitement about the move on Thursday, expecting to revisit and further explore each other's country.

Saba Kumaritashvili, a Georgian luger who competed in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that he would love to revisit China after the implementation of the policy, as he left the country with a very positive impression, adding that previously it was hard for Georgians to obtain visas to travel to China.

Kumaritashvili said that he was amazed and fascinated with Chinese culture and the Chinese people, as his stay in China during the Beijing Winter Olympics was awesome, and he praised Chinese volunteers for their hospitality and positive attitude.

Economic exchanges and friendship with the Chinese people are very important for Georgia, Tamta Peikrishvili, a visiting Georgian TV producer, told the Global Times on Thursday. She expected the mutual visa exemption policy to boost bilateral trade, represented by popular Georgian products such as red wine.

Chinese travelers who visited Georgia said that they would love to revisit the country.

Li Li, a Beijing resident who traveled to Georgia in 2023, highlighted the warm-hearted locals, scenic spots with hiking activities and delicacies including red wine. She noted that the overall cost was relatively affordable, compared with some other European countries.

Searches for tourism products covering Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia on Chinese online travel agency increased by 1.1 times after the announcement of the signing. The popularity of searches for Georgia-related keywords tripled on a daily basis on within half an hour after the announcement.

Searches by Georgian travelers for China-related keywords on its international platform increased by more than 60 percent, the reported.

The signing of the agreement is another move showcasing China's continuous efforts in promoting high-quality opening-up to attract more foreign visitors and deepen international cooperation.

Mao said that the Chinese government has rolled out a series of measures to facilitate cross-border travels to contribute to high-quality development and high-level opening-up and create better conditions for countries sharing the opportunities brought by China's development.

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism vowed in March to further optimize the payment environment for foreign visitors with the assistance of the People's Bank of China, the central bank. It was a quick move after a guideline released by the State Council, the cabinet, called for more effective and convenient payment services for foreign visitors.

China has implemented mutual visa exemption and waiver agreements with 157 countries covering different passports, and has reached agreements or arrangements to simplify visa procedures with more than 40 countries, according to media reports.

A total of 24 countries have realized comprehensive mutual visa-free arrangements with China, while more than 60 countries and regions have granted visa-free status or visas on arrival to Chinese citizens.

Related news
Most popular in 24h