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Manila bloodbath affects travel market

WHEN some tourists asked for a refund of their Philippines travel packages, others were unfazed about going to the country marred by a bloody bus hijack on Monday, travel agencies said today.

They said about 200 customers had asked for refund or for a change to other destinations in Southeast Asia. The influence would be felt until the October holiday season.

"We have cancelled all tour groups to the country next month," said Wang Yan, an official in the outbound department of Shanghai Airlines International Travel Service Ltd. "Only one group would depart for the Philippines on September 30."

"Usually we don't encourage tourists to go to places where security is in doubt," said Yu Weihua, general manager of Shanghai CITS Ltd.

Tour operators said the country's tourism market would be depressed by the bloodshed and the recession may last for one year. The Philippines with beautiful beach resorts would lose visitors to other destinations in neighboring countries.

Yesterday the Shanghai Tourism Administration told Shanghai Daily that more than 650 Chinese in groups organized by Shanghai travel services are now traveling in the Philippines.


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