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Chinese Tourists Aren't Coming Back Any Time Soon
Dec 05, 2021 | The NY Times
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On Jeju Island in South Korea, the markets have gone dark. In Bangkok, bored hawkers wait around for customers who never come. In Bali, tour guides have been laid off. In Paris and Rome, the long lines of people with selfie sticks and sun hats are a distant memory.

This was supposed to be the year travel came back. In Europe and Asia, many countries reopened their airports and welcomed tourists.But they are confronting a new reality: Variants such as Omicron are causing global panic, leading governments to shut borders again, and their biggest spenders — Chinese tourists — aren’t returning any time soon.

As part of its effort to maintain a zero-Covid approach, China has announced that international flights would be kept at 2.2 percent of pre-Covid levels during the winter. Since August, it has almost entirely stopped issuing new passports, and it has imposed a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals. Returning to China also requires mountains of paperwork and multiple Covid-19 tests.

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