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Cruise lines, travel agencies and airlines are getting caught up in the diplomatic tiff and public outcry in China related to South Korea deploying a U.S. missile defense system. There isn't much choice as the Chinese government has banned much of this travel and, at any rate, there is a drop in demand.

The once-cordial ties between South Korea and its biggest trading partner have soured due to the perception that China has targeted businesses, sports teams and culture to protest deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea.

tough on tourism

Effective March 15, China told South Korean travel agencies not to sell group tour packages to South Korea.

Instead, Chinese must seek visas individually.

Both Italy’s Costa and Royal Caribbean Cruises have cancelled port calls in South Korea by their cruises originating in China.

[From Skift: Ctrip declined to comment on whether it had eliminated packages and other travel from China to South Korea.]

One place likely to be hit hardest is the southern resort island of Jeju, where mom-and-pop shops and travel agencies rely on Chinese tourists. An official with Jeju’s immigration office, who declined to be named, said that as of Thursday no cruises from China were calling at the semi-tropical island.

South Korean airliners are cutting flights to and from China as reservations drop.

Christopher Bodeen reported from Beijing.

This article was written by Christopher Bodeen and Youkyung Lee from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Tags: china, costa, ctrip, royal caribbean, south korea

Photo credit: In this March 17, 2017 photo, a shopper pushes a cart down a quiet Lotte Mart in Beijing, China. Retail giant Lotte Group, South Korea’s No. 5 business group, took the brunt of the backlash after agreeing to let one of its golf courses in southeastern South Korea be a site for deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system. Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

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