Beijing, January 28, 2024, The Europe Today: In celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and France, Hainan, the tropical island province in south China, is set to foster cultural and tourism cooperation with France. The commemoration will be marked by the joint hosting of the Year of Culture and Tourism, aiming to provide enriching cultural experiences for the citizens of both nations.
Leveraging its diverse tourism resources, Hainan intends to initiate a series of activities as part of this collaborative effort. Key initiatives include promoting the establishment of a European center for Hainan tourism and cultural exchange in France. Additionally, the province plans to conduct tourism promotion activities with the aim of strengthening bilateral ties in the realms of culture and tourism.
Europe holds significant importance as an overseas tourist source market for Hainan, and the province is keen on expanding its reach. In 2019, approximately 410,000 European tourists, including 7,381 French tourists, visited Hainan. The provincial department of tourism, culture, radio, television, and sports sees immense potential for growth in the number of inbound tourists from France and other European countries.
As part of broader efforts to facilitate exchanges, China has implemented a unilateral visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia. This trial policy, in effect from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024, allows passport holders from these countries to enter China visa-free for various purposes, including business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, and transit, for a period not exceeding 15 days.
The visa-free policy is expected to create more opportunities for direct exchanges between Hainan and Europe. Moving forward, the two sides plan to deepen cooperation in areas such as tourism promotion, cultural exchanges, and the protection and inheritance of cultural heritage.
China has ambitious goals for Hainan, aiming to transform it into an international tourism and consumption center by 2025 and a globally influential tourism and consumption destination by 2035. The collaboration with France aligns with these broader objectives, fostering international cultural and tourism connections.