Easier Visa for Chinese Tourists

The Tourism Ministry is turning its face to the Far East to attract more tourists. Processing visas for Chinese groups now will be easier.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 16:31

Ben Gurion airport
Ben Gurion airport
Israel news photo

The Tourism Ministry is turning its face to the Far East to attract more tourists, and processing visas for organized Chinese groups now will be easier, according to Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, of the Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Is Our Home) party.

"The visa requirement is one of the main obstacles in the realization of the massive tourism potential in the Chinese market for Israel," he said.

"The length of time, complexity and bureaucracy involved in acquiring a visa prevent both the travel agents and the potential tourists themselves from choosing Israel as a tourism destination,” the minister added. Misezhnikov, in a visit to China earlier this month, reached an agreement to establish a joint tourism committee with representatives from the tourism industry.

Travel by the Chinese outside their own country has boomed in the past few and now accounts for five per cent of worldwide tourism, with expectations of the figure reached seven percent by the end of the decade.

"There is a need to build a professional marketing framework specifically for the Chinese market with its unique characteristics," said Misezhnikov.

Last year, Misezhnikov embarked on a project to increase tourism from Russia, which has brought the second largest influx of tourists to Israel in the last few years.