Destination desolation

Updated: 2014-10-04 07:48

By Erik Nilsson(China Daily)

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Destination desolation

Chinese tourists pose for photos with the Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel in the central business district of Singapore in May. [Photo/Agencies] 

"The air-seat capacity from China into Northeast Asia, including Macao, Taiwan and Hong Kong, is about three times the size of its equivalent into Southeast Asia. Korea is probably the main beneficiary and has been experiencing consistently high growth out of China."

Institute for Tourism Studies researcher Jae Yeon Choe says: "While preferences for easiness of visa procedures and air service expansion-such as nonstop flights-are factors, Korea's and Japan's pop, fashion and food culture continue to attract Chinese visitors."

IT developer Cheng Wei says his parents wouldn't "let" him visit Vietnam over the National Day holidays.

But he enjoyed Korea two weeks before on his first international trip.

"Korea is nearer than Vietnam," the Beijinger says.

"Flights are cheaper, and it's more developed."

Singapore is the most developed Southeast Asian destination to suffer from the tapering off of Chinese visitors. But industry insiders say that has more to do with Chinese policy than Singapore's positioning as a gateway to other destinations.

"With China exercising closer scrutiny on official government junkets and corruption, Singapore has lost some attraction," Choe explains.