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May Day tourists bring bumper harvest for South Korea and Japan

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

05-05-2016 16:04 BJT

By Gu Jianjun, Post Doctorate, Department of World Development Strategy, Central Compilation and Translation Bureau

Chinese outbound tourists and expenditures had ranked first in the world last year. According to statistics released by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), 120 million Chinese citizens had traveled abroad in 2015.


The May Day holiday, from April 30 to May 2, is a peak travel season in the country. Chinese tourists poured into Japan and South Korea, instead of Hong Kong and Taiwan for shopping sprees.

In 2015, about 6.2 million Chinese tourists visited South Korea, and experts say the numbers are expected to be higher this year.  The Seoul municipal government had declared May 1 as "Chinese Tourist Day," Chinese tourists can receive gifts and courteous receptions including free fittings of its national costumes.

Many shops offered one-to-one guides for Chinese VIP customers and pop-star products for young tourists. Many Chinese visited Busan and Jeju Island with scenic spots such as the Seongsan Sunrise Peak and Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, along with duty-free shops.

South Korea's tourism and retail industry was grinning from ear to ear. Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency said the Korean Tourism Organization had reported that 63,000 Chinese tourists visited South Korea during the May Day Holiday.

In Japan, Chinese tourists were the spotlight in the wake of of the recent Kumamoto earthquake and the Japanese currency yen appreciation in value.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said during his visit to China on April 30 that Japan would relax its visa policy for the Chinese. Although China's "shopping fever" had cooled down in the nation, the Japanese had adapted to changes by boosting cross-border e-commerce markets, which comes with after-service care.

A distinct contrast to the Chinese tourist wave in Japan and South Korea would be Hong Kong and Taiwan, since they are facing a "cold winter." HK and Taiwan had tried to attract more customers with discounts, but mainland Chinese tourists had dropped 20 percent in Taiwan and 50 percent in HK.

According to the Green Book of China's Tourism in 2016, since a series of events including "Occupy Central" and "Anti-Mainlander" protests had erupted in 2014, HK's tourist sector has struggled. The so-called "hospitable" HK image no longer holds sway.

Some Hong Kongers have harassed mainland tourists. In April 2015, HK changed its policy for Shenzhen citizens to enjoy "multi travels" to "once in a week" trips to Hong Kong. New policies and scandals have discouraged mainland tourists to visit HK.

As a saying goes "many hospitable receptions can be undercut by a vile repulsion once." Hostile attitude in Hong Kong is a critical problem. If not resolved, HK's economy will suffer, while many Hong Kongers may lose their jobs.

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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