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Chinese travelers shun western Europe in wake of attacks

08/03/2016| 5:27:01 PM|

France issued just 320,000 visas in China in the first six months of 2016, a drop of 15% from the same time in 2015, according to the French embassy in Beijing.

Violent attacks in western Europe has dampened interest in the region among Chinese tourists, a fast-growing segment of the travel industry.

The number of mainland Chinese tourists traveling to Europe was up 32% to 4.78 million in 2015, with growth strongest among those heading to Germany and France. But that was before the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, when at least 130 people were killed and many more wounded.

Since then, Chinese interest in France, in particular, has been on the wane. France issued just 320,000 visas in China in the first six months of 2016, a drop of 15% from the same time in 2015, according to the French embassy in Beijing.

Chinese OTA Ctrip said that more travelers were shifting their sights to other parts of the continent. Partly as a result, tour packages to France were now RMB 1,000 (HKD 1,160) to RMB 2,000 cheaper.

But thanks to Brexit and the fall in value of the pound, the number of mainland tourists heading to Britain was expected to be up by half in 2016, propelling it ahead of France and Italy in popularity among mainland travelers.

Last year a record 120 million mainland Chinese tourists headed overseas, with the number going to Germany up 70%, Italy 41% and France 48%, according to Neil Wang, greater China president of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

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TAGS: France | Germany | China | outbound tourism
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