CHINA GREAT WALLBeginning this year, travelers from 45 countries are allowed to visit Beijing visa-free for up to 72 hours.

Those with passports from the U.S., Canada, Australia and most of Europe are able to stay in China's capital for up to three days while in transit through Beijing Capital Airport, as long as they have tickets to continue travel outside of the country.

Travelers taking advantage of the allowance are not permitted to leave the Beijing administrative area.

Several tour operators are seizing on the new rule and offering 72-hour jaunts in Beijing, often as part of larger Asia trips.

One of them is Bangkok-based Exotissimo Travel, which developed a selection of tours that take advantage of the new policy.

According to Exotissimo, the average stay in China's capital city is three days, so the no-visa allowance is an optimal amount of time to spend there for sightseeing or most business events.

The tour operator noted that the visa-free visit makes China trip-planning much easier and less costly.

Exotissimo has recently introduced a new tour called the Beijing/Hong Kong Visa Free City Escape. This six-night trip spends three nights exploring China's capital with visits to the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, before departing Beijing for Hong Kong.

Another of the new tours Exotissimo created also visits Japan, enabling visitors to go to what Exotissimo calls "two of Asia's main hubs" with no visa requirements.

The Beijing/Tokyo Visa Free City Escape starts in Beijing before flying to Japan's largest city.

Exotissimo said it expects the new rule to drive an increase in the number of international airlines offering flights through Beijing.

Air China has already indicated that it plans to offer more flights through China's capital city, enabling travelers to take advantage of the allowance.

Exotissimo said its tours are custom-tailored and that tour rates vary depending on the travel period and specific requirements.

The company, which was established in 1993, also offers tours in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and China. It has sales offices in several European countries as well as Australia, the U.S. and Brazil.

Exotissimo said it works extensively with travel agents and various agency networks throughout North America and offers sales training, consultation and fam trips.

For more information, visit Agents can contact Ron Dreyer, vice president of sales for North America, at [email protected].

Follow Johanna Jainchill on Twitter @jjainchilltw. 


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