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China's Dalian to start 72-hour visa-free stays

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DALIAN, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The coastal city of Dalian in northeast China will start 72-hour visa-free stay service for travelers from 45 countries on Jan. 1, 2014, local tourism authorities said.

Dalian is the sixth city on the Chinese mainland to introduce the policy.

Travelers from countries such as the United States, Britain, Russia, France, Germany and Canada may enjoy the policy if they hold third country visas and have booked plane tickets to leave for a third country or region within 72 hours.

The scheme will boost local tourism development and exchanges with the world, said a local tourism official on Saturday.

In 2012, Dalian hosted 49 million tourist arrivals, including 1.28 million from overseas, with total tourism revenues of 76.7 billion yuan (12.5 billion U.S. dollars).

So far, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu have already launched the 72-hour visa-free service. Chongqing Municipality is expected to launch the same service this month.

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