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Publication Date : 26-10-2012
The number of passengers who planned to visit China from Japan on tours in the three months from October nosedived more than 70 per cent compared to last year, according to a survey by the Japan Association of Travel Agencies.
The drop indicates the severe impact of the ongoing row between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands on the travel industry.
For the survey, released Wednesday, JATA interviewed seven major domestic travel agencies, including JTB Corp. and Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., and asked them about their bookings for package tours for October to December compared with the same period the previous year.
Reservations for tours to China dropped by 72.5 per cent in October, 75.8 per cent in November and 71.5 per cent in December. The actual number of passengers who went on tours to China in September fell by 44.5 per cent due to cancellations.
After a Chinese trawler collided with Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels off the Senkaku Islands in September 2010, the figures sank by 54.8 per cent in November and 65.3 per cent in December. However, a Japan Tourism Agency official said the repercussions of the Senkaku Islands row are more severe and widespread.
There was also a fall in the number of people booking trips to South Korea due to the territorial dispute over the Takeshima islands, with the drop ranging from 46 percent to 66 per cent in the three-month period. Another factor behind the decline was that it became difficult to reserve hotels in Seoul because many Chinese travelers went to South Korea instead of Japan.