Hainan Regulates Visa Waiver Policy

Hainan Provincial People's Government has issued the "Regulations on Service and Management of Visa Waivers for Foreign Tour Groups Visiting Hainan", which will be implemented from June 15, 2010.

Ma Kai, the director of Hainan Provincial Public Security Department Exit-Entry Administration, said that policies — which include visa waiver for tour groups from 21 countries, visas on arrival and for Taiwan residents applying for endorsement at entry ports — have greatly benefited Hainan's inbound tourism market. Of these, visa waivers for tour groups from 21 countries has become the primary channel for foreigners visiting Hainan.

The regulations stipulate that visa waiver tour groups should be sponsored by travel agencies in Hainan, and these should be companies offering tour guide services during the whole travel process. Travel agencies should submit tour group lists to border inspection authorities, and submit the list and itinerary to the appropriate public security departments. Within two hours of the tour group entering Hainan, the agency should submit the actual inbound information to the public security departments. Travel agencies should also submit accommodation information to the public security department daily. Within two hours of the tour group or members of the group leaving Hainan, agencies should submit the departure information to public security.

If members of the visa waiver tour group want to extend their stay in Hainan or travel to other parts of China, they should apply for visas in accordance to the law. If travel agencies have not organized or sponsored visa waiver groups properly with the result that tourists can not enter Hainan or are stranded in Hainan, they should underwrite all the costs.