Uzbekistan introduces 7-day visa-free travel for Chinese citizens starting in 2020

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has issued a decree which introduces a seven-day visa-free regime for Chinese citizens, the Uzbek Justice Ministry said on September 12, Xinhua reported.

According to the decree, from January 1, 2020, citizens of the People’s Republic of China, including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, will enjoy a visa-free period of no more than seven days in the country if they can provide their return ticket.

In cases where routes include a third destination, visitors from China will be restricted to five-day visa-free travel, RFE/RL reported.

The decree aims to create favorable conditions for the development of China-Uzbekistan relations, to promote cultural, scientific and educational exchanges between the two countries, improve the investment climate in Uzbekistan, and boost tourism in Uzbekistan.

According to data released by Uzbekistan’s State Tourism Committee, citizens of 77 countries including China can obtain Uzbek e-tourism visas.

Since Uzbekistan launched its e-tourism visa system last year, the country had issued some 59,000 e-tourism visas to foreign citizens by July 15, 2019, including 23,000 to Chinese citizens, the data said.

Starting from this year, the Uzbek government has been taking a set of measures to boost tourism. It plans to attract more than 9 million foreign tourists by 2025 and increase the share of its tourism industry from 2.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2017 to 5 percent in 2025.

Sergey Kwan

TCA