China Reopening Borders to Foreign Tourists

in Shanghai Disneyland, Universal Beijing Resort


Credit: Disney

If you’ve been dreaming about visiting Shanghai Disneyland or Universal Beijing Resort, you may have your chance for the first time in three years!

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale at shanghai disneyland
Credit: Disney

China is well-known for its extremely strict COVID-19 policies, including fully closing its borders to all outside tourists since the advent of the pandemic in March 2020. Both Shanghai Disneyland and Universal Beijing Resort closed multiple times during the past three years as a result of the zero-tolerance policy.

However, according to Reuters, China will reopen its borders starting Wednesday, March 15, and allow all categories of visas to be issued, including tourist visas. Cruise ships will also be able to once again pass through Shanghai’s port. Beijing removed its advisory to its own citizens against foreign travel in January. Tourist industry insiders do not expect a sudden, massive influx of visitors or a significant economic boost. In 2019, international tourism accounted for just 0.9% of China’s gross domestic product.

Avatar projections on Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Travelers will once again be able to apply for visas to visit Shanghai Disneyland and Universal Beijing Resort as long as it follows their local ordinances. For US citizens, a visa is required and costs approximately $140, although those who plan to visit more than once can apply for a 5-year or 10-year multiple-entry visa for the same price.

This is also the first opportunity foreign tourists will ever get to visit Universal Beijing Resort, which first opened in September 2021 and thus far has only had local visitors. It will be the rest of the world’s first time seeing the highly praised Untrainable, Beijing’s How to Train Your Dragon stage show.

Decepticoaster at Universal Beijing Resort
Credit: Universal Beijing Resort

United States citizens can also travel to Hong Kong visa-free as of late last year. Hong Kong’s government is also planning to offer 500,000 free round-trip airline tickets to the city in an effort to reboot the tourism industry following the pandemic.

in Shanghai Disneyland, Universal Beijing Resort

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