Italian authorities have admitted that no one was staying at the Shangri-La Hotel in Changsha, the capital of the Chinese city of Shandong, when the visa-free operation was launched.
The Shangri La Hotel in China opened in November 2018 and offers luxury accommodation and entertainment, including cinema and concerts.
The hotel had received a visa in January and has received two more since then.
A statement from the Consulate General of China in Italy, Fabrizio Tannadino, said the visa operation had failed.
“The hotel management and the host have been in contact and there has been no communication between them, so it is clear the hotel has not been able to provide sufficient accommodation and that the visa was issued for no-one,” the statement read.
Tannadio added that the hotel was “in a difficult position” with “no plans” to reopen as soon as the visa is issued.
The statement did not name the host, but hotel manager and head of hotel services, Hu Yansong, told AFP the hotel’s management had been unable to contact the host since the visa application was issued.
“We can’t say anything about it because we do not have any contact with the host and the hotel management is trying to find a solution to our problems,” he said.
The hotel had already been closed for more than two months due to “technical issues”, according to Hu.
The announcement came a day after China’s Foreign Ministry announced that it would issue visas to “tourists, tourists and foreign students” from around the world for “the next three months”, with a minimum of one week in total.
This comes as tensions between Beijing and its neighbors in the region have escalated following a wave of protests in China against the government’s “one country, two systems” policy.