Chinese-Japanese tourism is going down and industry insiders do not expect for things to get better due to the Diaoyu Islands conflict between the two countries, the Chinese press comments.
All tour packages to Japan were withdrawn four months ago, when tension rose, but starting with December 2012, Japanese travel packages got back to being promoted on Chinese travel agency websites. However, the results are not great, as the online booking records for Japanese tours have not yet been fully booked, compared to the last years, according to Chinese tour operators.
“All travel agencies are testing the waters to see how the market responds to tour packages to Japan, but the results are not good,” said Ge Lei, a spokesman for China Youth Travel Service.
Ge said the main reason for China’s lack of interest is that most Chinese people still “have strong feelings” against Japan because of the Diaoyu Islands dispute. Their reaction is to support boycotting visits to the country.
In an online poll by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency on January 5, 67 percent of Chinese respondents said they “will not travel to Japan” because of its government’s illegal “purchase” of the islands in September.