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Chinese halt North Korea tours over safety

Associated Press logo Associated Press 20/04/2017

Some Chinese tourism companies are eliminating or offering fewer trips to neighbouring North Korea as regional tensions and safety worries dampen demand.

Representatives of tour companies Ctrip, Caissa and China Youth Travel Service say they are no longer organising trips to North Korea.

State-run media in China and members of the public have been critical of hostile statements from North Korean leaders as the nation pursues a nuclear arsenal.

Caissa sales manager Zhao Cuili says most tourists are unwilling to go because of safety concerns.

The two biggest companies, China International Travel Service and China Travel Service, say they still offer multi-day trips to North Korea.

China International Travel sales manager Zhao Haiwei says passengers must take North Korean airlines after the state-owned Air China scrapped some flights to Pyongyang due to a decline in demand.

While there are no official figures of Chinese tourists travelling to North Korea, official media estimates that up to 10,000 visitors crossed the border from Danbong city, the entry point for Chinese visitors, during the peak season.

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