China’s travel authority tells travel agencies to resume group tours to Korea

Now to news that will be music to the ears
of South Korea’s flagging tourism industry. China’s travel authority in Beijing has reportedly
given the green light to major travel agencies to normalizing group tours to South Korea. Such tours had been banned in protest over
Seoul’s deployment of a U.S. missile defense system. Park Jong-hong has the latest. Making an about face, Beijing’s travel authority
has reportedly given the go-ahead on tours to South Korea. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say the measure
was given orally and that ten travel agencies — both state and privately-run — were called
in for the notification. However,… cruise tours and chartered flights
are still reportedly banned. Restrictions on Chinese travelers to South
Korea had been lifted last month in the wake of eased tensions between South Korea and
China over Seoul’s deployment of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system. But that measure had been short-lived as restrictions
for residents in Beijing and Shandong province were put back in place after just three weeks
as authorities tried to rein in the heated promotion of group package tours. Now with China back on track, industry experts
say Shandong is expected to follow suit next month. In the latest meeting, the Beijing travel
authority is said to have instructed the travel agencies to refrain from massive promotional
campaigning and limit sales to offline services. Park Jong-hong, Arirang News.

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