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These countries are ready to do anything to attract even more tourists


E-visa, extended stay permit and even free plane ticket: small and large tourist destinations are competing in inventiveness to attract travelers in 2023.

If you do not know where to travel in 2023, the greater ease in the process of entering some countries may convince you.

Some have embarked on a strategy to restore their image.

Others want to reassure tourists about the security they will find when coming to spend their holidays at home.

Still others have relaxed their entry requirements.

They all want one thing: to attract foreign travellers.

Overview of the strategies used on the different latitudes of the globe to seduce holidaymakers.

Hong Kong offers half a million free plane tickets

Hong Kong will offer 500,000 free plane tickets in March 2023. AdobeStock / Dmitry Rukhlenko

After nearly three years of pandemic, Hong Kong wants to establish itself on the regional tourism market and revitalize its territory.

To attract travelers, La Perle de l'Orient is offering 500,000 free plane tickets from March.

This summer, 80,000 other tickets will be offered again, this time for Hong Kongers.

All this as part of the “Hello, Hong Kong” campaign announced on February 2 by John Lee Ka-chiu, chief executive of the city state.

Note that no information about how to choose the lucky ones has yet been revealed.

The three carriers in charge of distribution have however been identified: they will be Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines.

There are also “Hong Kong Goodies”, welcome gifts in the form of vouchers to be used in many sectors (gastronomy, transport, retail, etc.).

These, numbering 1 million, will be given to tourists arriving in the territory.

Read alsoHong Kong offers free plane tickets to attract travelers after the pandemic

Saudi Arabia makes plane ticket a stopover visa to visit the kingdom

In the northwest of the country, Hegra, the second most important city of the Nabataeans after Petra, in Jordan, is now both an archaeological and tourist destination in the region of al-Ula.

Stanislas Fautré / Le Figaro Magazine

The kingdom of 34 million Saudis facilitates access to the territory for travelers in transition through the country.

The national airline Saudia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have announced a new measure, which can be summarized by the campaign "Your Ticket Your Visa".

With this decision, travelers passing through any international airport in the country will have 96 hours to move around the kingdom.

For four days, tourists will be able, with their plane ticket which will act as a stopover visa, to visit the country.

A measure that is part of the Saudi strategy to reach 100 million visits by 2030. For information, 4 million visited the kingdom in 2021, the year of a pandemic.

Read alsoIn Saudi Arabia, the extraordinary archaeological site of Khaybar revealed to the world

Mongolia lifts visa requirement for 34 countries including France

Until 2025, you will no longer need a visa to travel to Mongolia.

AdobeStock / katiekk2

For stays in Mongolia of up to 30 days, the French (as well as travelers from 33 other countries) are now exempt from tourist visas until 2025. By this relaxation of the conditions of entry into the territory , the one nicknamed the Land of Blue Sky hopes to attract more tourists.

A passport valid for at least six months beyond the planned date of leaving the country is still required.

On the other hand, most health measures have been lifted on entering the country: no longer need a negative PCR test or proof of a complete vaccination schedule.

Most barrier gestures (wearing a mask in particular) nevertheless remain in force on the territory.

Read alsoMongolia exempts French travelers from visas for three years

Dubai lifts compulsory license to buy alcohol

Dubai raises, for tourists, the 30% tax on alcohol hitherto imposed.


The emirate with three million inhabitants intends to attract tourists from all over the world.

To do this, at the end of 2022 it implemented a measure concerning alcohol consumption: the lifting of the 30% tax on alcohol sales throughout the territory and above all the end to the compulsory license for s get it.

Good news for expatriates and a decision that is not unrelated to the FIFA World Cup, which took place in Qatar in 2022: the success of the event in the neighbor of the emirate seems to have inspired the Gulf States.

Tourists will continue to consume alcohol in international chain hotels but should only be taxed at 5%.

In general, alcohol can be found in all hotels in the Emirates (except in Sharjah where the purchase, sale and possession of alcohol is strictly prohibited).

This measure will be in effect until December 31, 2023, so that the authorities can gauge its impact.

Read alsoWhy Dubai abolishes its 30% tax on alcohol

Chile wants to set up a police force to protect tourists

In Valparaíso, a city victim of insecurity, the authorities want to establish a tourist police.

AdobeStock / Loic Bourgeois

The Chilean city of Valparaíso intends to stem the problems of insecurity.

And this will perhaps involve the creation of a tourism police, aimed at protecting travellers.

Indeed, the "valley of paradise" is a victim of violence and crime - like the rest of the country.

The one nicknamed the "jewel of the Pacific" therefore wishes to reassure tourists with this measure, which has not yet been adopted.

Supported by the left-wing mayor, Jorge Sharp, it could draw inspiration from similar actions that have been implemented in Mexico City and Buenos Aires.

For now, the initiative has not yet been discussed in the National Congress of Chile, the country's parliament.

However, the city of Valparaíso remains hopeful of seeing its project succeed one day, given the security situation in the country.

Read alsoIn Chile, soon a police to protect tourists?

Philippines wants to refund VAT to foreign tourists

The measure of refunding VAT on products purchased by tourists will be in place by 2024. AdobeStock / DreamArchitect

Allow tourists to spend more but less on their vacation spot?

This is the strategy that the Philippines want to put in place.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. recently agreed to such a measure being put in place by 2024.

By instigating a reimbursement program for value added tax, VAT, the archipelago wishes to attract more tourists to the territory.

Several weeks ago, the Philippines also announced an investment of nearly 300 million euros to renovate and modernize roads to several tourist sites.

Read alsoSiargao, the new star island of the Philippines

South Korea wants to lower the price of its electronic travel authorization

The South Korean Ministry of Justice has proposed that the K-ETA Electronic Travel Authorization cost half as much.

AdobeStock / Atakorn

In 2023, the Land of the Fresh Morning should change its entry conditions, to the delight of tourists.

Already, the K-ETA electronic travel authorization, essential if you want to go to South Korea (unlike the visa, from which the French are exempt), must cost half as much.

The price of this currently stands at 10,000 ₩ (about 8 €): its issuing costs should increase to 5,000 ₩ (about 4 €), if the "work plan" proposed by the South Korean Ministry of Justice to the President is adopted.

Another change proposed by the ministry: the period of validity of this document, which goes from two to three years.

Enough to convince some of them to take the plunge and go to Seoul, Busan or even Jeju Island.

Read alsoStay Korea |

14 days |

Great Sites of South Korea

El Salvador extends its maximum length of stay

El Salvador has doubled the maximum length of tourist stay there.


The smallest country in Central America doubles the maximum length of stay there.

If, until then, tourists could only stay there for a maximum of three months, it will now be possible for them to enjoy their trip for up to six months.

Decision announced on January 13 on the twitter account of the country's president, Nayib Bukele.

Note that the French are exempt from visa to go to El Salvador.

They will also not be asked for the tourist card that most foreign tourists must apply for.

Several countries are switching to e-Visa

  • Burkina



Burkina Faso has been offering, since the beginning of the month, an online visa application system for entering the country.

AdobeStock / Alexander

The Consulate General of Burkina Faso in France has announced several changes regarding the issuance of a visa to travel to the West African country.

Since February 1, it is now possible to apply for a visa online.

In order to obtain an e-Visa, you will need to provide passport, photo ID, health insurance, international vaccination record (for yellow fever in particular) and photo ID.

What about prices?

For a three-month single-entry e-Visa (allows only one entry into Burkina Faso), you will have to pay €51.

For a multiple entry e-Visa, this figure rises to €84.

As a reminder, “the situation remains volatile in Burkina Faso”, specifies France Diplomatie.

It is strongly recommended to exercise a high degree of caution in the country.

“It is necessary to maintain the greatest vigilance, including in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso, to limit its movements to what is strictly necessary, taking care to avoid all possible gatherings.”

  • Jordan



The city of Petra is one of the most visited tourist sites each year in Jordan.

AdobeStock / Volodymyr Shevchuk

On January 31, 2023, the Jordanian Ministry of Interior announced that an electronic visa would be implemented in early February.

This will take the form of a digital document, downloadable from the mobile application of the Jordanian Ministry of the Interior.

Until then, tourist visas could be obtained both on arrival in the country at the immigration checkpoint and before the trip at embassies.

Also for tourists: the Jordan Pass, a package to avoid the fees included in the entry visa.

Condition to obtain the precious sesame: that your stay is at least three nights and four days and that it does not exceed 30 days.

Most ?

This allows access to dozens of

Read also5 good reasons to go to Jordan

  • Indonesia



It is now possible to apply for a visa online to travel to Indonesia.

AdobeStock / tawatchai1990

The largest Muslim country in the world launched its e-tourist visa on January 26.

Making a 60-day stay possible, this is to be distinguished from the visitor e-visa which only allows a 30-day stay on site, renewable once for another 30 days – which requires an additional administrative procedure. that the new document deletes.

The tourist e-visa costs 1,500,000 Indonesian Rp (about 93 €).

For those who would prefer to leave with a visitor's e-visa (which costs Rp 500,000, or around €31), the procedures are simplified here too, since the visa extension request can now be made online.

Note that the extension request also costs 500,000 Indonesian rupiahs.

As a reminder, any tourist wishing to go to Indonesia, even French,

Read alsoIndonesia: itinerary, budget, safety... All our advice for preparing your trip

  • Sri



The visa application process to travel to Sri Lanka is now possible entirely online.


Sri Lanka announced, at the end of 2022, the introduction of a new electronic authorization for tourist travel, known as ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization).

This allows its holder to stay on site for 180 days.

This authorization must remain in place until at least July 25, 2023.

Be careful, however: its cost was revised upwards in December, from 35 to just over 52 US dollars (approximately 49 euros), due to the economic and political crisis that is sweeping the country.

Read alsoSri Lanka increases visa fees for tourists

  • Mozambique



Planning a vacation in Mozambique?

You can apply for your visa online.

AdobeStock / Noradoa

Anyone can now apply for an entry visa to Mozambique from anywhere in the world.

And this, thanks to an online platform provided for this purpose.

The goal ?

Facilitate the procedures for obtaining entry visas into the territory.

The price of the electronic visa depends on the time spent on site.

Note that tourist visas can be of several durations, the longest being 90 days.

Managed by the National Migration Service, this system was originally to be put into operation last October.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-06

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