Shenzhen tourists eye US after visa policy relaxed for Chinese

Updated: 2012-02-16
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SHENZHENERS are showing increasing interest in visiting the United States after the country relaxed its visa application requirements for Chinese, local travel agencies said.

The United States implemented Monday a new visa rule that allows qualified, non-immigrant Chinese applicants for U.S. travel to renew their visas without undergoing another interview if their visas expired less than 48 months ago.

"We usually saw five to six residents per day coming to ask about U.S. tours at this time in previous years. We now have around 10 inquiries on an average day,” said Guan Wenlu, project manager of the Shenzhen China International Travel Service.

"The number of people registering for our U.S. tours has increased by about 40 percent compared with the same period last year,” Guan said.

But Guan said the interest might wane because it’s not the best time of year for U.S. travel. “The annual boom season for U.S trips is between May and October and the ‘peak of the peak’ is summer vacation, when many parents take their children to tour the United States,” Guan said.

Guan said that thanks to the new visa rule, his company is expected to see an increase of 60 to 100 percent in the number of locals traveling to the United States this summer.

An increasing number of locals prefer package tours to the United States in small groups, which can mean better service and more flexibility, according to Guan.

Zhang Yibing, founder of Broad Future, a Shanghai-based institution that facilitates overseas study, said the new visa rule will have an obvious positive influence on institutions that cooperate with low- and mid-level schools in the United States.

"I haven’t seen any obvious influence on the big organizations like us,” said Zhang, whose organization cooperates with top-100 schools in the United States.

Zhang said small companies that help customers study overseas are expected to benefit most from the relaxed visa rule.

 

SOURCE: Shenzhen Daily

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