Beijing, Dec 28: With the number of outbound Chinese tourists crossing 120 million this year, China has further simplified procedures for applying passports and other pass certificates to enable more people travel abroad.
Chinese citizens now will no longer need to present their household registration documents to authorities to get a passport, said Ministry of Public Security. Also, applicants no longer have to provide copies of application materials.
The measures came as new figures from the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) showed 120 million people travelled abroad this year, becoming the largest group of outbound tourists in 2015 and registering an 11 million increase over the last year. The increase in outbound tourists is attributed to relaxed visa policies and rising disposable incomes, CNTA said.
Last year, the ministry shortened the length of time taken for such procedures and allowed people to apply for more than one certificate at the same time by filling out a single form. The rising numbers have led to several countries, including India, make efforts to make their lucrative tourism industry attractive to the visitors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced e-visas to Chinese tourists during his China visit in May. According to government tourism statistics, Chinese tourists spent a record USD 164.8 billion overseas in 2014.
Also, China's booming domestic tourism market saw over 4 billion journeys in 2015, generating a revenue of more than 4 trillion yuan (USD 620 billion), CNTA said. Rural tourism will be promoted next year to help poverty relief in poor regions, CNTA said.