launches free transit tours on Shanghai layovers launches free transit tours on Shanghai layovers

OTA offers city highlights through Shanghai Express experiences Group has announced a series of free layover city tours for travellers transiting at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

International passengers with waits of eight hours or more at the airport can take advantage of the Shanghai Express tours, which will offer highlights of the city from April 15.

Tours include airport pick-up and drop-off, attraction tickets, insurance and e-sim cards and will be available to international travellers who are eligible for China’s 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, as well as those holding a 24-hour temporary entry permit.

Guides will meet passengers at the currency exchange at the airport’s Terminal 2, with in-person registrations accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Meals are not included but luggage storage is offered at the airport.

Several tour options are available, lasting five to six hours with up to ten travellers on each tour. They are led by English-speaking guides and available to any eligible travellers, not just customers.

The Shanghai Highlights City Tour (9:00-14:00) includes the Yu Garden and viewing Shanghai’s skyline at the Bund.

Strolling Under the Trees Citywalk Tour (16:00-22:00) includes a city walk through the old villas and cafes along the Wukang Road, a visit to the Yu Garden and a stroll along the Bund.

Huangpu River Cruise Sightseeing Night Tour (18:00-23:00) includes a night view of the Bund aboard a Huangpu River Cruise ship and a night trip to Yu Garden.

Han Feng, head of marketing at, said: “As visa-free transit policies open up new avenues for international travellers to explore China, Group is excited to unveil this innovative programme for those with just a short stopover.

“We will leverage our extensive resources to ensure a memorable tour experience and provide world-class customer service to help flyers enjoy what Shanghai has to offer.”

According to IATA data, 330,000 travellers had a layover in mainland China last December, a monthly growth of 47%.

Currently, nationals from 54 countries are eligible for the 72/144-hour transit visa-free policies in 23 cities across mainland China.

As long as they hold valid international travel documents and interline tickets to countries or regions with confirmed dates and seats, passengers can apply for visa-free transit at border inspection in designated city ports.

Foreign nationals with international connecting flights within 24 hours can transit through nine designated airports in mainland China without immigration procedures on a 24-hour temporary entry permit by presenting passports and connecting ticket flights as well as filling out a temporary entry card.

The Shanghai Experience tours build on’s Explore China campaign.

The Chinese OTA has seen a triple-digit year-on-year rise in international travel bookings to China in the first two months of 2024.