Serbia may waive visa requirements for Chinese visitors from 2017
2016-11-14 13:22 | CRIENGLISH.com

  

  File photo of Serbia

  Serbian tourism authorities revealed that they plan to begin waiving visa requirements for Chinese visitors to the country starting from 2017, according to a report by China Central Television.

  A Serbian tourism official reportedly made the comment at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai on Sunday.

  The development has come after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic earlier this month.

  The two leaders signed a visa-free travel deal during the meeting.

  It will make Serbia the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to waive visa requirements for Chinese visitors.

  [As the largest number of outbound tourists in the world]

  For four years in a row, China has had the largest number of outbound tourists in the world, announced Li Jinzao, the head of China's National Tourism Administration, at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai.

  Latest figures show China's outbound tourists totaled 194 million in the first three quarters this year, up 11% from the same period last year.

  According to the Ministry of Commerce, Chinese outbound consumption reached 1.5 trillion yuan (226.15 billion USD) in 2015, of which about half was spent on shopping.

  The country's tourism sector also generated more than a quarter of the jobs in the world's tourism industry in 2015, according to China Tourism Academy.

  Insiders point out easing travel restrictions, good services and attractive prices remain the key drivers underpinning the Chinese outbound tourism growth story.

  Visa-free policy is also offering more convenience. On Friday, a new 10-year visa policy has taken effect between China and Israel, allowing Chinese citizens to travel to Israel on multiple occasions for 90-days at a time.

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