China restricts package tours to South Korea anew: report - VIP Casino Bonus Bonus Offers, Free Spins + Casino Bonuses

Thursday, December 21, 2017

China restricts package tours to South Korea anew: report

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China restricts package tours to South Korea anew: report

The Chinese government has reportedly changed its mind on its plans to loosen restrictions on package tours to South Korea.

China restricts package tours to South Korea anew: reportKorea JoongAng Daily reported that China’s tourism authority has rejected recent applications for group tour visas following the recent state visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Beijing.

Citing tourism industry sources, the Korean news outlet reported that tour operators in Beijing and Shandong Province were told by the Chinese government that group tourist visas to Korea will be blocked again, effective December 20.

The Chinese authorities did not provide any explanation for blocking package tours anew, according to the report. The rejection of group tourist visa applications to South Korea came as a surprise to tour operators since it was the same Chinese government agency that lifted the ban in November.

South Korea, particularly Jeju Island, relied on mainland China for their inbound tourists. Data from Jeju Tourism Organization (JTO) showed that China accounted for 84 percent of the island’s international tourists in 2016.

Things, however, changed early this year when South Korea’s former administration allowed the deployment of additional U.S. anti-missile missile systems last year. Beijing retaliated by imposing a blanket ban on group tours to the country.

Jeju’s Chinese tourist numbers fell 56.2% in March, and then 89% by the end of June, according to JTO data.

Travel agencies have seen a glimmer of hope that the icy relationship between Beijing and Seoul will thaw following the election of Moon and the scrapping of further missile deployment plans in the country.

Kim Jong-taek, secretary general of the Asia Inbound Tourism Association, was in disbelief upon hearing the news that Beijing re-imposed its ban, especially since he was expecting that the tour ban will be completely lifted in February.

However, he pointed out that “the Chinese government has never made any official statement on the matter.”

“I still don’t know why it’s turning down the visa applications, but I hope it has to do with some sort of an administrative lapse,” Kim told the news outlet.

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