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U.S. tour group nearly set to go
U.S. tour group nearly set to go

The first tour group to the United States, which will set out next Tuesday, will have their visa interviews today, tour agencies said.

Agencies said they believed most travelers would pass the interview.

The Shanghai China International Travel Service Co Ltd said the time it took to apply for visas for group tourists would be cut in the future.

"This time we had to wait for six to seven weeks for interviews after applying for the visa," said Yu Weihua, general manager of the company. "But I believe the time will be shortened to give favor to group tourists."

Agencies said the US Consulate in Shanghai may introduce Group Leisure Travel visas for tourists rather than the common Approved Destination Status visa after June 17, but it won't make it easier for tourists to cross.

Travelers must provide the same materials and answer interviewer's questions honestly. If their material is proved to be false, they may face a permanent refusal.

The first group of 80 members will stay in the US for 10 days, along with tourists from Guangzhou and Beijing who will meet them in Washington. They will visit several cities along the east and west coasts including New York City, Washington DC and the Los Angeles, said the agency.

"This time they will not go to Las Vegas and Hawaii because of the itinerary plan," said Yu. "But the following groups will."

The agency said it planned to send a tour group to the US once a week, at a cost per person of about 20,000 yuan (US$2,857).

US-bound tourism hits peak-season from August to October, and the price will rise by 5,000 yuan to 8,000 yuan, as the air tickets and hotels will both cost about 30 percent more, said the agencies.

"The market may be affected by the high price as our tourists won't rush to the US without considering their economic condition," Yu said.

Shanghai Daily

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Tags:US, travel, Hawaii

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