Seoul is one of the biggest winners of China’s outbound tourism bonanza as the South Korean capital city has been swamped with Chinese visitors during the week-long National Day holidays, am730 newspaper reported on Friday.
Department stores and other retail outlets in Seoul are festooned with welcome messages and promotional materials written in simplified Chinese for the tourists.
There were also many reports of mainland shoppers quarreling with sales staff as they were unable to buy certain products that had been sold out.
According to Chinese news website thepaper.cn, Chinese shoppers could be seen queuing up outside department stores 30 minutes before they open for business.
At least 160,000 Chinese have booked flights and accommodations for South Korea during the holiday, up more than 33 percent from the same period last year, the report said.
Meanwhile, the number of passengers traveling on domestic rail lines reached 11.73 million on Wednesday, so far the biggest number in a single day. It represents a 13.5 percent increase from the same period last year.
More than 30 highways in Guangdong province have reported traffic congestions from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning due to the heavy volume of travelers.
The situation is similar in Zhejiang province, where a couple decided to say “I do” to each other via a radio broadcast, as they would miss their scheduled wedding because of the traffic jam.
The radio program host, who was just inquiring about the traffic situation in the province, became a witness to the ad hoc ceremony.
Elsewhere, visitor numbers in some traditional tourist destinations such as Sichuan province’s Jiuzhaigou National Park have dropped significantly to less than 9,000 on Wednesday, the lowest on record, according to local travel agencies.
According to a media report, 89 percent of respondents in a survey blamed exorbitant admission fees for this year’s low attendance in many traditional tourist spots.
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