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China partly lifts ban on group tours to South Korea, online curbs stay

China partly lifts ban on group tours to South Korea, online curbs stay

China partly lifts ban on group tours to South Korea, online curbs stay
November 28
14:52 2017


People watch news coverage of an earthquake in North Korea, shown at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on September 23, 2017.

Jung Yeon-Je | AFP | Getty Images

People watch news coverage of an earthquake in North Korea, shown at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on September 23, 2017.

China National Tourism Administration will allow resumption of only over-the-counter sales of package tours from Beijing and Shandong to South Korea, Park Yong-hwan, deputy director at Korea Tourism Organization, and executives at Chinese travel agencies said on Tuesday.

Online sales of package tours, and chartering flights or cruise trips are still banned, Park said.

According to the executives at travel agencies, restrictions on including Lotte Group units, such as Lotte Duty Free, in tour packages also remain. The executives declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Lotte, South Korea’s No.5 conglomerate, has faced a major setback in the wake of deteriorating bilateral relations, with most of its hypermarkets in China being shut down after fire inspections.

The South Korean travel ban is expected to be be in place for other Chinese regions for now and be gradually lifted going forward, Park said.

Shares in South Korean tourism and retail companies rallied after the news of the partial lifting of the ban, first reported by Yonhap earlier in the day.

Asiana Airlines gained 3.1 percent and duty free store operator Hotel Shilla rose 2.8 percent. Casino operator Paradise rose 2.2 percent, while cosmetics maker LG Household & Health Care added 3.7 percent.



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