Australia is one of 45 countries granted visa-free status for up to 72 hours for travellers flying to international destinations via Guangzhou.
Guangzhou has become the third Chinese city to offer a visa free stop-over for up to 72 hours alongside Shanghai and Beijing.
From August 1, 2013 passengers flying through Guangzhou will have up to 72-hours visa-free to explore the southern Chinese city while in transit.
Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province, home of Cantonese food and more than 13 million people at the head of the rich Pearl River Delta triangle linking Hong Kong and Macau.
The new visa-free rule allows visitors from 45 countries, including Australia, to travel to any part of Guangdong Province, including the thriving economic hub of Shenzhen.
Passengers travelling between Australia and Europe on China Southern’s Canton Route will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the new rule. China Southern Airlines, which is based out of Guangzhou, has aggressively pursued the Australian market in the last decade, operating twice daily flights between Sydney and Guangzhou, 10 times weekly flights from Melbourne, three times a week from Perth and four weekly flights from Brisbane, promoting its Canton Route to outbound destinations of London and Europe.
“This is absolutely wonderful news for China Southern because it makes it easier for international travellers to stop over in our wonderful hub city,” said China Southern General Manager Australia and New Zealand Henry He.
Mr He said Australian travel companies which already offer travel holidays in China were queuing up to provide stay and tour packages for stopovers of up to 72 hours.
“China specialists like Creative Holidays and Wendy Wu Tours are already in the market with exciting yet affordable packages offering the pick of Guangzhou’s hotels and tour packages to the main sightseeing spots. This is a great opportunity to get to know old Canton, one of China’s most exciting provinces.” ■