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September 14, 2012

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Agencies to halt package tours

SOME major Shanghai travel agencies are to stop organizing tours to Japan and suggest tourists make alternative plans due to the Diaoyu Islands row.

"We have suspended the promotion of Japan tour packages and will gradually stop receiving tourists to Japan after the National Day holiday," Liu Xin, deputy general manager of the Shanghai China CYTS Outbound Travel Service Co Ltd, said.

The Shanghai branch of the China Travel International Ltd said it was advising people who wanted to visit Japan to change their plans.

The Shanghai branch of the China International Travel Service is stopping tours to Japan from early next month.

Xiao Qianhui, general manager of the Shanghai Spring International Travel Service (Group) Co Ltd, said the agency had received several requests to cancel trips to Japan. So far, it had not made any adjustments to its tours.

Shanghai Jinjiang Travel said it received about 20 requests about canceling trips to Japan from people who had already paid for package tours.

Last year, 108,891 tourists from Shanghai went to Japan on organized package holidays, making Japan the second most popular tour destination for travelers from the city after Thailand.

The China Comfort Travel Group Co Ltd said yesterday it had ordered its 5,500 tourism outlets nationwide to stop selling tour packages to Japan and was asking those who had bought packages to choose alternative destinations.

Meanwhile, Japanese media reported that China Eastern Airlines canceled a meeting with Yuhei Sato, governor of Fukushima County, who had flown to Shanghai to talk about the reopening of the Shanghai-Fukushima route suspended after the deadly earthquake in March 2011.

Shanghai-based Spring Airlines is predicting a 30 percent decline in passenger numbers on China-Japan routes due to the row.


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