China has announced plans to provide Swiss travellers with visa-free entry

China has announced a significant step to enhance diplomatic relations and promote tourism by allowing Swiss travellers visa-free entry. This gesture marks a positive development in fostering closer ties between the two nations and facilitating seamless travel for Swiss citizens exploring China.

China has announced plans to provide Swiss travellers with visa-free entry

China Announces Visa-Free Entry for Swiss Passport Holders

China recently declared visa-free entry for Swiss passport holders, marking a significant bilateral development in travel facilitation between the two nations.

- Allowing visa-free entry helps attract more visitors and stimulates economic growth through increased tourism and spending.

- The visa waiver will allow Swiss passport holders to enter China without obtaining a visa first for tourism and commercial visits less than 90 days.

- The policy change aims to boost bilateral ties,trade, and tourism between the two countries. Currently, Chinese tourists contribute significantly to the Swiss economy.

- The move should stimulate Switzerland's tourism industry and economy, allowing more accessible travel for the Swiss. Over 300,000 Swisstourists have already visited China each year.

- For China, the policy change draws more Swiss visitors, who spend generously while travelling. Tourism and commerce should incrementally help China's GDP.

- Broader ties between the countries should also strengthen with increased ease of travel and cultural/business exchange. This builds goodwill and partnerships.

Davos Announcement Precedes China's Open Door Policy

China's announcement to allow visa-free access to Swiss passport holders was strategically made public leading up to the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This timing highlights China's focus on resuscitating tourism and conveys an openness to rebuild global connections after COVID-19 disruptions.

- The Davos economic forum gathers business & political leaders to discuss major world issues.

- Attendees include key decision-makers that impact trade, investment, and diplomacy. 

China's Announcement:

- Primarily aims to incentivise Swiss visitors to revive Chinese tourism revenues. 

- But the timing before Davos signals a broader initiative to enhance China's international commerce and engagement.

Temporary Visa-Free Regime for Six Countries

China's recent introduction of a temporary visa-free regime for citizens from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia marks a strategic move to bolster its tourism sector. Valid until November 30, 2024, this initiative responds to the COVID-19 impact and aims to attract visitors by simplifying entry procedures. 

The success of this temporary measure, which facilitates smoother travel for tourists and business professionals, will be closely monitored. Depending on its effectiveness in stimulating tourism and economic activity, extending this visa-free regime is possible beyond the initially specified period.

This temporary visa-free regime reflects China's commitment to revitalising its travel industry and demonstrates its adaptability to changing global circumstances. By offering streamlined entry for citizens from select countries, China positions itself as an attractive destination, fostering international engagement and potentially paving the way for a more permanent and expanded visa-free policy.

Positive Impact Evident as China Welcomes Visa-Free Travelers

The positive impact of China's recent initiative to welcome visa-free travellers is unmistakable, heralding a new era of accessibility and cultural exchange between nations.

  • Tourism Growth

By allowing visa-free access for Swiss citizens and simplified visas for Americans, China has already seen a spike in visitor arrivals. Flights from Europe and the US are filling up as interest in China travel soars thanks to easier entry. Hotels, especially in significant hubs like Beijing, Shanghai and Sichuan, have reported booking surges as China becomes more accessible.

  • Economic Boost

The influx of tourists injects fresh spending into China's economy, creating jobs in hospitality and related sectors. More visitors strengthen trade ties and foreign investment as deals are forged through improved business travel access. The economic momentum from reopened tourism will aid China's post-pandemic recovery.

  • International Goodwill

The visa reforms cast China in a more welcoming light globally. Diplomatic perceptions improve by easing what was once viewed as restrictive entry policies. The gesture also signals China's willingness to drive international cooperation. As ties strengthen, this goodwill incentivises further bilateral partnerships.


What is the new visa policy for Swiss citizens visiting China?

China has approved visa-free entry for Swiss citizens with valid Swiss passports for tourism and business visits up to 90 days.

When does this new China visa exemption start for Swiss citizens?

The visa-free agreement for Swiss passport holders visiting China starts from February 2023 for an initial trial period of 3 years.

What type of activities can Swiss citizens do under the 90-day visa exemption?

Swiss citizens can engage in tourism, visiting friends and family, short-term studies and international business activities in China visa-free. Employment is not allowed.

Are there any limitations to the places where Swiss citizens can travel visa-free? 

Yes, certain restricted areas and military zones still require additional permits. The visa-free policy only applies to general areas open to international visitors.

Can Swiss citizens extend their 90-day visa-free stay or transition to a resident permit?

Extension or residency conversion is not permitted under the 90 day visa exemption. Visitors must depart China before the visa-free period expires.

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