China offers 30-day visa-free access to Hainan to 59 countries; Philippines included

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 18 2018 09:41 PM

MANILA - Starting May 1, tourists from 59 countries, including the Philippines, will be able to enter and stay in the Chinese province of Hainan without a visa for 30 days, according to China's official news agency. 

Xinhua News Agency said the 30-day visa-free access to Hainan island has been granted to citizens from 59 countries. 

Group and individual tourists can stay in Hainan visa-free for up to a month on condition that they book their tour through accredited travel agencies. 

Hainan, dubbed "China's Hawaii," is currently offering only a 15-day visa-free stay for group tourists from 26 countries, including the Philippines. These group tours have to be organized by international travel services approved by the National Tourism Administration of China and registered in Hainan Province. 

The new policy for Hainan is part of China's effort to build the province into "a free trade port with Chinese characteristics," as stated in the guidelines on supporting Hainan to deepen reform and opening up, released by central authorities Saturday.

Here are the 59 countries given visa-free access to Hainan, as reported by Bloomberg:

Albania
Argentina 
Australia
Austria
Belarus

Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria

Canada
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic

Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany

Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Indonesia
Ireland

Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan
Latvia
Lithuania

Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico

Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway

Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania

Russia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia 
Slovenia

South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand

United Arab Emirates
Ukraine
United Kingdom
United States