▲ Jaewon in Shin Jeju was particularly hard hit due to the lack of Chinese tourists. Photo courtesy jnuri.
On Oct. 31, Korea and China agreed to work to get relations back on track after the deployment of THAAD had caused an almost year-long breakdown in relations between the two countries.
In a joint press release, Korea and China stated that “the two sides attached great importance to the Korea-China relationship and decided to push for further development of the strategic cooperative partnership.”
This breakdown had a severe effect on trade and, importantly to Jeju, also tourism.
In fact, this year Jeju has seen a significant reduction in the number of Chinese tourists who have traveled to the island. At the end of September, Chinese tourists numbers were down 73.1 percent when compared to last year.
After the joint statement, the Jeju Tourism Organization reacted to the decision saying, “based on the changes to the tourism market we will be able to make immediate changes through our Chinese office and our network in China. This will come through government offices, tourism companies, and the media.”
They added, “however, even if there is a recommencement of group tours coming from China, we will still focus on building growth through the individual and special purpose tourism markets, not quantitative growth.”
The lack of Chinese tourists to Jeju saw the island start to attract tourists from other countries. As well as this, a significant number of Korean tourists arrived on the island to partly make up for the lost numbers.
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