Chinese travel agencies are expected resume group tours to 20 countries including the Maldives starting from February 6.
Tourists from China began arriving in the Maldives earlier on Wednesday, January 18, after a three-year hiatus. Beijing Capital Airlines became the first Chinese airline to operate flights to the island nation since March 2020; the airline will operate four charter flights between January 18 and February 22.
“From Feb 6, 2023, travel agencies and online travel companies across the country will resume pilot outbound group tours and the provision of ‘airline tickets + hotel’ services for Chinese citizens to eligible countries,” a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as reported by Reuters and other agencies, said.
Apart from the Maldives, group tours will be organized to;
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- South Africa
- New Zealand
Earlier in December, China’s government started to gradually ease its ‘zero tolerance’ policy toward the Covid-19 pandemic. On January 8, the obligatory PCR testing and centralized isolation for people arriving in China were cancelled.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities said they intended to resume the provision of services for the issuance of ordinary visas, temporary residence permits, and residence permits for foreign citizens.
Apart from Beijing Capital, China Eastern will begin scheduled flights from January 28 onward, with flights every Saturday.
China is expected to account for at least 10% of the total tourist arrivals to the Maldives in the coming months, the Maldives Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association (MATATO) said last week.