When I was in pre-school, my definition of “Astronaut” is someone who travels to the moon. I remember I always answer “I want to be an Astronaut” when someone asked me what I want to be when I grew up. I thought it was the coolest thing that time, since everyone would want to be either a teacher or a doctor. As I grew “smarter”, I found out that that an Astronaut is someone who literally travel to the outer space…well it’s not really isolated in the moon’s land area, but it’s beyond it.
In hope to increase the tourism industry in Beijing, China, the country’s tourism department started a visa-waiver program which will give tourist a break from the tedious process of visiting the city’s famous landmarks for trips or vacation.
The program will give way to all business travelers and tourists from 45 countries, in which they can visit and stay in Beijing for 72 hours or 3 days, without visa. Transit passengers from Canada, United States, members of European Union, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, South Korea, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, are just some of the eligible nationalities to take advantage of this program.
January 1, 2013 is the date to mark on the calendar to all qualified tourist, who can visit the famous Forbidden City, experience motor homes show, finest camping facilities and watch plays at Beijing Theatre. As what the announcement stated that they are allowing, “….foreigners from 45 countries with visas and plane tickets to a third country to transit through Beijing for 72 hours without a visa.” This is indeed a good news for business men and travelers alike, because it will open both ways for China to present their greatest city to the world and diversify business opportunities.
Bad news is, Philippines is not listed in the countries included in the program. There is really no reason to feel bad about it because, still all Filipino travelers can go to Beijing, though they only need to pass the migration office in the airport just like other travelers, and have their Visa approved.