Visa-free transit is an important measure to optimize entry policies for overseas personnel. It is an important benefit for inbound business trips and inbound short trips, and relevant domestic and international airport cities will benefit from it.
On November 24, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mao Ning announced that in order to facilitate the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and services and high-level opening-up to the outside world, China has decided to expand the scope of unilateral visa-free countries on a trial basis and implement a unilateral visa-free policy for holders of ordinary passports in the six countries of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia. Since news of the visa-free policy was released, the number of same-day inbound ticket searches for international tickets for Tongcheng Travel increased 12% over the same day. Among them, the number of inbound ticket searches from Malaysia increased 3 times from the previous day, and the number of inbound ticket searches to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain all increased by more than 100% month over month. Furthermore, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar said on November 26 that the country will implement visa-free entry measures for tourists from China and other countries for 30 days starting December 1.
According to the visa-free policy, from December 1, 2023 to November 30, 2024, people with ordinary passports from the above countries who come to China for business, travel, visit family and friends, and transit for no more than 15 days can enter the country without a visa.
In response to the favorable news that the visa-free policy for people with ordinary passports from the six countries came to China to do business for no more than 15 days, many foreign trade enterprises said that not only do they export overseas, but they also have subsidiaries overseas. The introduction of the visa-free policy in the six countries not only makes it more convenient for their customers to come to China for negotiations, but colleagues from overseas branches can also study and work in China more easily in the future. German and French companies believe that the implementation of the visa-free policy will greatly simplify the process and time for applying and processing business visas, improve business efficiency and flexibility, and thereby enhance the competitiveness and cooperation of enterprises. This is undoubtedly a new opportunity for enterprises.
According to Ctrip data, Malaysia and Germany ranked among the top ten tourist destinations in China from January to October this year. According to a report from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, travel agencies nationwide received 477,800 inbound visitors in the first half of 2023, and 8.5616 million in the first half of 2019.
Cheng Chaogong, chief researcher at Tongcheng Research Institute, analyzed that visa-free transit is an important measure to optimize entry policies for overseas personnel. It is an important benefit for inbound business trips and short inbound trips, and relevant domestic and international airport cities will benefit from it. The continuous expansion of visa-free transit target countries is conducive to the innovation of inbound travel products and diversification of business formats. In particular, the 3-6-day in-depth travel market for transit travelers is expected to usher in new opportunities. At the same time, it is also a test of the resource integration capabilities and product development capabilities of relevant destinations.
Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of Chunqiu Tourism, said that in the past, due to the limitations of the visa policy, such as factors such as long visa application times and many forms, the resumption of inbound travel was restricted. Through this visa-free trial, a major “hurdle” (for inbound travel) has suddenly been solved. Looking at inbound travel, apart from the visa policy, there is a wide range of hotels to choose from. In the context of the accelerated resumption of flights, ticket prices are gradually becoming more rational, so the issue of organic alcohol is not the main difficulty. However, in terms of human resources, it will still take some time to return to the original level of reception. Furthermore, it is necessary to increase China's publicity overseas and increase exchanges with overseas cooperative tourism companies, so that overseas tourists are more willing to come to China.
On November 17, at the Global Travellers Conference, Ctrip joined forces with industry chain-related companies such as Ant Group, China Travel, Yuanhai International, CNN, Guilin and Tang Dynasty China Tourism to launch an inbound travel cooperation alliance initiative. In the initiative, they stated that they will start from dimensions such as inbound travel service portals, overseas card mobile payments, overseas transmission of domestic destinations, and group travel service quality, etc., to promote facilitation of the entire inbound travel link and enhance the travel experience of foreign tourists.
According to data previously disclosed by the State Administration of Immigration, immigration authorities across the country inspected a total of 123 million entry/exit personnel in the third quarter, an increase of 454.4% over the previous year, reaching 73% in the same period in 2019, including 61.688 million mainland residents (including 1,423 million border residents), 50,176 million Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents, and 109.36 million foreigners (including 2,922,000 border residents). A total of 4.66 million ordinary passports were issued in the third quarter, up 1356.3% year on year, reaching 61.6% in the same period in 2019; 254.46 million entry and exit documents (pieces) were issued to and from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, up 2071.2% year on year, reaching 113.3% in the same period in 2019; 887,000 visas were accepted from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents to and from the Mainland (Mainland), up 358.5% year on year, reaching 151.8% in the same period in 2019; 608,000 foreign visas were issued, up 268.5% year on year, returning to the same period in 2019 horizontal.
On November 20, a research report by CICC pointed out that the consumption of overseas tourists is included in exports in GDP accounts, of which commodity consumption is also accounted for at zero. The number of inbound tourists and consumption gradually recovered in 2023, and it is estimated that the number of inbound foreign visitors by the third quarter of 2023 will return to around 45% of what it was before the pandemic. The improvement in economic activity combined with the resumption of international flights in 2024 is expected. Inbound passenger consumption may further boost China's zero growth rate by about 0.2 percentage points, while boosting export growth by 1-2 percentage points.
Related concept stocks:
Travel and hotel sector
$TONGCHENGTRAVEL (00780.HK)$: According to Tongcheng Travel's financial report for the third quarter of 223, the company's other revenue, including advertising, hotel management, travel services, business travel and other sectors, reached 490 million yuan, and its share of total revenue has increased from 11.1% in the same period in 2019 to 14.9%. Thanks to the incremental contribution of the tourism market in non-first-tier cities, the company's revenue in the third quarter increased 61.1% year on year to 3.3 billion yuan. Among them, accommodation revenue increased 37.7% year on year to 1.13 billion yuan; domestic hotel night volume increased 100% over the same period in 2019; traffic revenue increased 70.3% year on year to 1.68 billion yuan; domestic air ticket volume increased by more than 30% over the same period in 2019; and international air ticket volume recovered significantly and exceeded 2019 levels.
$HWORLD-S (01179.HK)$: According to Huazhu Group's financial report for the third quarter of 2023, Huazhu has 9,157 operating hotels worldwide, the number of guest rooms has reached 885,756, and the number of hotels to be opened has reached 2,970. Among them, the number of hotels operating in China is 9028, of which 55% are budget national hotels and 37% are mid-range hotels; the number of hotels to be opened is 2,935, of which 37% are budget national hotels and 48% are mid-range hotels.
$HAIDILAO (06862.HK)$: On November 9, Anxin International Research Report pointed out that the company has achieved remarkable results in reducing costs and increasing efficiency. With the cost of a single store falling, there is room for an increase in the speed of opening stores in the future, and profit elasticity will also be greater. Moreover, current market expectations are not high; the bank believes there is still greater potential for development and room for stock prices to rise.
$YUM CHINA (09987.HK)$: On November 9, Anxin International Research Report pointed out that the competition intensity of the Yum China fast food circuit is lower than that of other tracks, and the immediate requirements are stronger, so performance will be more steady during periods of weak consumption. The company is expanding further in sinking markets, with a target of 20,000 stores by 2026. The current stock price is relatively undervalued.
$CTG DUTY-FREE (01880.HK)$: China China Insurance said at the performance briefing for the third quarter of 2023 that the company has promoted overseas project expansion and duty-free business rights bidding in an orderly manner, and has successfully obtained the right to operate duty-free shops at Cambodia's Siem Reap Angkor International Airport and has recently opened operations. In the future, the company will focus on expanding duty-free market business around countries along the “Belt and Road” and major outbound tourist destinations for Chinese tourists.