by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 4, 2013
Bookings on Japanese package tours to China for February and March are down around 80 percent, tourism industry data showed Monday, as a months-old territorial row dragged on relations.
Tours to China, booked through Japan's seven biggest travel agencies, fell by 80.3 percent year-on-year for February and by 77.2 percent for March, the Japan Association of Travel Agents said.
Tokyo and Beijing have been embroiled in a bitter sovereignty dispute over a chain of islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkakus in Japanese and the Diaoyus in Chinese.
The Japanese nationalisation of some of the islands in September sparked sometimes violent anti-Japan rallies across China.
"Business travel demand is still there but the dispute had a big psychological impact on sightseeing demand," association spokesman Hiroyuki Seishi said.
The drops for February and March show demand for travel to China was not picking up after the drop of 74 percent in October and declines of nearly 80 percent in November and December.
Demand has taken a hit from the territorial dispute in past years, Seishi noted.
"The latest flare-up and media reports on the rallies discouraged even more people who do not want to go to unsafe places," he told AFP by telephone.
The heavy air pollution in recent weeks also "worsened the image" of China, he added.
Global Trade News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|