Korea becomes less popular among Chinese travelers for Lunar New Year Holiday

January 30, 2017

Beijing, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) — Less Chinese tourists opted for Korea as a travel destination during the long Lunar New Year Holiday this year, Chinese media and travel agencies said Sunday.

While as many as six million Chinese have gone or will go overseas during the holiday season from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, the number to come to Korea has significantly decreased compared to last year.

According to Ctrip, a Chinese online travel platform, Korea slipped to seventh, from third a year ago, on the list of travel destinations for Chinese tourists during the holiday.

Chinese media attributed the falling popularity of Korea to the soured relations between the two countries over Seoul’s decision to install a U.S. missile shield on the Korean Peninsula.

The image provided by Yonhap TV shows Chinese tourists.

The image provided by Yonhap TV shows Chinese tourists.

Aviation Circle (www.air66.cn), a Chinese aviation information and service platform, reported while big cities feel less of a pinch from the decreased Chinese tourists, Jeju Island, Incheon and Busan, popular destinations among tourist groups, will be dealt a more severe blow.

In fact, Chinese visitors to Jeju during the holiday are expected to total 43,000, down 17 percent from a year ago, according to the Jeju Special Self-governing Provincial Tourism Association.

Meanwhile, more Chinese have chosen to go to Japan for the holiday.

China’s news portal Cankaoxiaoxi quoted JTB Corp., the largest travel agency in Japan, as reporting that Chinese tourists to the country have increased by 90 percent from a year ago.