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China tightens regulations on travel biz

[THE INVESTOR] The Chinese government is tightening regulations on cheap tour packages, raising concerns among South Korean businesses, industry officials said on Oct. 25.

Earlier this month, the China National Tourism Administration CNTA) said it will closely look into “irrationally” cheap travel packages over the next six months, vowing to conduct investigations into local tour operators and review their contracts to crack down on low-quality programs.

While the guideline was not targeted at a certain country, the new rules were taken seriously among South Korean tour operators that have competitively courted Chinese group travelers with very cheap programs over the past years. According to industry officials, major Chinese travel booking sites have dropped listing all-inclusive Korean package deals priced below US$300 over the past few weeks.

Last year, a total of 5.98 million Chinese travelers visited South Korea and spent $2,391 per person during their stay here.

(theinvestor@heraldcorp.com)
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