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Long wait times for visas are impeding a recovery in China’s international travel

Sep 11, 2023 | International

According to Jane Sun, CEO of travel booking website Trip.com Group, Chinese citizens aren’t travelling abroad as frequently as they’d like because of lengthy visa application wait times.

For instance, according to Sun, Schengen visa applications can take two to six months, “which is too long.”

According to her, demand for international travel from China has “far surpassed” the level seen in 2019 before the pandemic. According to her, the need for domestic travel has increased from 2019 levels by 60%.

Sun noted that the number of flights is another issue for outbound travel from China and that the flight capacity to the United States is only 6% of what it was before the pandemic.

As of August, the United States only permitted 12 passenger flights per week from China to the United States. It was planned to raise that to 18 a week beginning on September 1 and to 24 a week starting October 29.

Flights to and from China have resumed more quickly in other regions.

According to Sun, the number of flights to the Asia-Pacific region has increased by more than 50%, while the number of flights to the Middle East has doubled from pre-pandemic levels.

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