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Travel

Visas for Chinese travelling to Germany to be fast-tracked

In order to attract investors, Germany has reduced the processing time for visas for business people. But entry conditions will also be eased for tourists from China.

Visa applications by Chinese business people will be processed within 48 hours, as opposed to the current three days. This was announced on the official webpage of the German embassy in Beijing.

Document requirement demands will also be simplified. Last year, 65 percent of the 337,000 visas issued were for business people. The number of long term multiple entry visa applications for frequent travelers has also increased. Applications for tourist visas, which currently take three days on average to process, are also to be issued more quickly.

Visitor numbers to Germany started decreasing markedly after France, Great Britain, Spain and Italy some time ago began issuing visas to Chinese applicants within 24 to 48 hours. Chinese visitor numbers to Italy are twice as high as those to Germany.

Chinese tourists are regarded as an important current economic factor, because they tend to spend a lot of money. Currently, 120 million Chinese travel abroad annually. That number is expected to climb to 200 million in the next five years.

ot/ak/sc (dpa)