More Chinese Tourists Allowed to Visit KoreaThe number of Chinese group tours visiting Korea will expand from this month.
The Chinese government announced on June 19 that it will meet with the South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism on June 26 in Beijing to sign an agreement that will increase the number of group tours that are allowed to visit Korea. Until now, residents of only nine cities and provinces in China were able to visit Korea. However, the new agreement would allow residents of all Chinese cities and provinces to join package tours of Korea.
It is expected that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Korea will grow from the present 316,639 (1999) to 440,000 in 2000, an increase of about 40 percent.
From 1998 to the present, Chinese residents from four cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin and five provinces, Shandong, Anhui, Guangdong, Jiangxi and Shaanxi, were allowed to visit Korea.
China has prohibited individual travel to foreign countries in line with its tight control of foreign currencies and the possibility of travelers becoming refugees and defectors. Group tours have been strictly controlled and the Chinese are only allowed to tour eight countries: Korea, three Southeast Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Japan.
by Chae In-tak