Australia is going to offer a multiple entry visa for a period of three years for Chinese tourists in a bid to compete with neighboring countries like Indonesia and give a boost to the tourism sector. Even though the recent changes brought forth in the visa category are slated to align the Chinese visitors with their business counterparts, it still makes the Australian requirements tougher than most nations.
In November, 2014, the U.S. extended Chinese travelers with a multiple entry visas for 10 years. The move was followed suit by Canada in March. Chinese tourists to Indonesia and South Korea are not required to hold this visa. The new visa is thought to have a positive effect. Australia’s requirement for visas were much lenient than those of Europe and UK, but was akin to those in Japan, which was experiencing a rush of Chinese visitors.
During the last month, Japan issued a maximum of 146,000 visas for tourists from China. Earlier, Chinese visitors to Australia who sought a three-year multiple entry visas required a travel agent’s guarantee. New rules have done away with this requirement. The change was promulgated by Andrew Robb, Trade and Investment Minister at a tourism awards event in Adelaide.
Robb said that visitors who are in the habit of touring here repeatedly were a vital part of the market sector because of their prolonged stay and greater outcome in terms of expenditure. The count of Chinese visitors travelling abroad is expected to increase two-fold to 200 million by 2020. Australia has been alluring Chinese visitors who are lured by the open spaces, clean environment, sumptuous food and great shopping experience. In the wake of the recent Chinese New Year vacation, 124,000 visitor visas were issued which amounted to a 23% increase since last year.
Robb further added that the tourism and hospitality industry is one of the Kangaroo nation’s strengths. The country’s export services are worth 30 billion dollars and give direct or indirect employment to many Australians, including those from regional Australia.