S.Korea to ease visa restrictions for Chinese tourists
Tuesday 27 July 2010
South Korea will drastically ease visa restrictions for Chinese visitors who are becoming the major customers of its tourism market, the justice ministry said Tuesday.
From August 1 multiple-entry visas will be issued to employees of China's top 500 companies, schoolteachers, pensioners, holders of various professional licences and graduates of prestigious colleges, it said.
The multiple-entry visa would allow them to enter South Korea freely for up to three years, the ministry said.
Currently it is offered only to people from advanced countries, owners of platinum or gold-class credit cards and professionals like professors and doctors.
South Korea will also issue "double-entry" visas allowing Chinese to enter the country twice within a set period for tourism.
The ministry said its new measures would help attract some three million Chinese tourists annually from 2012. Last year there were 1.34 million, up almost 15 percent from 2008.
Chinese accounted for almost 21 percent of all foreign visitors in the first half of this year.
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