Published on : Thursday, March 16, 2017
The authorities in Beijing have directed all Chinese travel agencies to prevent the selling of tour packages to Korea two weeks ago. In the following week, Incheon International Airport, the main gateway of Korea witnessed a massive drop in passenger numbers to 180 thousand. Tourists for the shrines and Korean royal palaces have dropped to 60 percent.
Many cruise ships cancelled their trips to Korea’s Busan and Jeju-do causing a loss of few hundred thousand tourists in a year. ‘’But this could just be the beginning, as the policy goes into effect on Wednesday. The number of Chinese tourists to Korea is expected to drop exponentially, dealing a significant blow to Korea’s tourism industry.”
Myeong-dong, in central Seoul isn’t that crowed as it used to be. ‘’ Before, about 5 out of 10 foreign visitors to Myeong-dong were Chinese, but that’s dropped to 2 or 3 out of 10.
Myeong-dong shops that have depended on Chinese customers have been hit hard. I think it’s now time to shift our attention to customers from other countries like Japan or Southeast Asia, as they make up the other half of foreign visitors.’’ Previously, Chinese travelers used to account 70 percent of sales. Now this has started making a shift already.