As China looks to step away from its "one-size-fits-all" policy for the tourism industry, could this be the first step towards the return of travel in the country?
China’s tourism authority on Tuesday eased a rule on the suspension of certain tourism trips in areas where Covid-19 cases are found, part of the country’s effort to make its virus response more targeted.
Tourism is among the hardest-hit sectors under China’s “dynamic Covid zero” policy that demands each flare-up be detected and contained as quickly as possible. The policy involved various restrictions on people’s non-essential movements when regional outbreak occurred.
The new guideline issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism says travel agents are suspended from organizing group tourism trips linking a county that has reported areas deemed of high or medium Covid risk, and areas outside the province where the county is based.
That is less stringent than the previous blanket rule that had required travel agencies in an entire province to halt cross-province group tourism trips if any small areas in the province became of high or medium virus risk.
“In principle, there shall not be ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy on the entire industry,” the Ministry of Culture and Tourism wrote in the new guidelines.
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Lincoln Feast.)
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Photo credit: Tourism is among the hardest-hit under China's Covid-zero policy. Ling Tang / Unsplash