As China lifted more travel restrictions after it optimized its COVID-19 response, its recovering outbound and inbound travel is injecting new impetus into the global tourism market.
China on Wednesday began allowing travel agencies and online tourism services providers to offer group tours to a second list of 40 destinations, including France, Greece, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and Brazil, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Meanwhile, to further facilitate cross-border travel, China's visa authorities abroad resumed issuance of all categories of visas to foreigners starting Wednesday, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
"We received the first order to travel to Spain and Portugal on the morning of March 11, the day after the circular on the second batch of 40 destinations was released," said Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of Spring Tour Travel Agency.
Medium to long-distance destinations such as Serbia and Italy became the choices of Chinese tourists, and many planned to travel during the coming May Day holiday, Zhou said.
Travel agencies are introducing related products to cash in on the pent-up travel demand. Gu Wei, the general manager assistant of Shanghai Airlines Tours International (Group) Co Ltd, said the company's products regarding traveling to Spain, France, and Switzerland have attracted considerable interest. Their group tours to Iran will leave in April.
Searches and bookings for group tours, airline tickets, and hotels surged on leading online travel agencies, including Trip.com Group, Tongcheng Travel, and Mafengwo.
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