The European Union has expanded its passport-free "Schengen Treaty Zone". The expansion means more convenience for travellers making their way around the 24 countries.
For Chinese travellers, this means movement throughout the region with just a single visa. And local travel agencies have been quick to spy out potential profits, and have already begun to promote package tours to Eastern Europe.
Some travel agents have already mapped out their new package tours to Eastern Europe for next January. And these come at a budget price. A 10-day tour to four countries including the Czech Republic and Austria costs less than 10 thousand yuan. Travel agencies say visa applications are now much more convenient.
Jiang Haizhong, Marketing director of Beijing Zhongxin Int'l Travel Service, said, "Previously, travellers had to apply for individual visas for each Eastern Europe country they wanted to visit. This meant waiting for more than 20 days if they wanted to go to three countries. But now, it only needs five to seven days."
Travel agencies say Eastern Europe boasts uniquely beautiful scenery and cultural sites. Industry insiders are expecting travel to the region to peak around the Spring Festival holiday early next year. China will launch more direct flights to the nine new countries that have just joined the Schengen Treaty Zone. A direct flight to Poland will be available as early as March of next year.