August 10, 2023 10:51
China is finally allowing group tours to Korea again in a welcome fillip for large tourist hotels, duty free shops and other retailers here.
Group tours to Korea, which can include hundreds and even thousands of company workers or paying tourists, remained blocked even after the coronavirus lockdown was eased.
According to the Chinese Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday, the official green light from Beijing will be given soon.
The Chinese government stopped group tours to Korea in March of 2017, just after a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. was deployed here.
This February, China reopened its borders and permitted group tours to 20 countries including Indonesia, Thailand and the UAE, adding another 40 countries like France and Italy in March.
The only countries that have remained barred for group tours are Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the U.S.
The decision is expected to lead to a sharp increase in Chinese tourists visiting Korea, where they are typically herded through giant restaurants, dedicated shopping malls and duty free shops.
China is also set to allow group visits to Japan again, TV Asahi reported Wednesday.
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