Ukraine may grant visa-free access to citizens of China, Australia, Arab states to boost tourism

FILE PHOTO: Tourists take pictures at the Independence Square in Kiev

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine is considering cancelling its visa requirement for tourists from China, Australia, New Zealand and Arab states in order to attract more visitors once lockdowns ease and bring more money into the economy, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday.

The government expects the economy to shrink 12% in the second quarter after a 1.5% drop in the first quarter.

"It is necessary to liberalise the visa policy: if countries cancel visa requirements for Ukrainians who come to them, we will cancel for them too. We need to compete for tourists," Zelenskiy said.

According to the president's communications department, a foreign tourist usually spends $120-150 a day and stays in Ukraine for an average of three to four days. Around 14 million tourists visited Ukraine in 2018,

Last year, Ukraine introduced electronic visas for citizens of 52 countries, including China and Australia. A single 30-day visa costs $85.

European Union citizens can enter for short trips without a visa.


(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)