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:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Arab Emirates