EU Seeks Visa-Free Travel to US
LUXEMBOURG ~ EU nations have agreed to open negotiations as a bloc with Washington on visa-free US travel, after some eastern members sought their own bilateral deals.
EU interior ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, gave a mandate to the European Commission to negotiate the conditions for a deal allowing all member countries to participate in the US visa waiver program.
Most older EU states are already part of the visa waiver scheme, but Greece and most of the 12 mainly ex-communist nations who have joined the bloc since 2004 are not.
China Imposes New Visa Curbs
HONG KONG ~ China has imposed further restrictions on visitors, just weeks after it stopped issuing multiple-entry visas, Hong Kong travel agents said, sparking concern among the business community.
“You now need a copy of your travel ticket both in and out of the country and a hotel voucher before they accept a visa application. Without that they will reject it,” said Daryl Bending, a travel consultant with Concorde Travel.
“I think it will deter a lot of people from travelling to China. They will just think it is too hard.”
China Plan to Reopen Tibet
BEIJING ~ China has abandoned plans to reopen riot-hit Tibet to visitors on May 1, a tourism official in the Himalayan region said, amid reports of simmering tension there.
Asked whether the reopening for foreign and domestic tourists had been postponed, a Tibet Tourism Bureau official said: “Yes, because conditions are not ripe for it.”
Tour organisers had been informed of the postponement, a tour operator in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu who regularly arranges trips to Tibet said.