Mon, August 30, 2010
China > China & World > Probe into Manila Hostage Crisis

Beijingers avoiding travel to Philippines after hostage bloodbath

2010-08-27 02:10:18 GMT2010-08-27 10:10:18 (Beijing Time)  Global Times

Beijing travelers have already started adjusting their holiday travel plans to avoid the Philippines, following the hostage fiasco that saw eight Hong Kong tourists killed.

"I don't want to go there," said Shen Feiyan, an oil company employee.

"It's not safe!" She claimed.

A hostage situation could happen in any country, she said, "But how the police handle the case indicates the country's overall security level."

She decided to take her family to Singapore instead during the National Day holiday.

The Hong Kong government on Monday announced a "black alert" for travel to the Philippines due to security concerns, requiring all tour groups there to return to Hong Kong, and those with planned trips to cancel them immediately after the tragedy.

"I haven't received any booking calls for trips to the Philippines this week," said a travel agent surnamed Tao with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

She believed the Philippine tourism industry has just started to see an impact, and that airline ticket prices will go down in the next few months.

The price for a seven-day trip in September was approximately 4,000 to 5,000 yuan ($588 to 736), said a travel agent surnamed Mai at the Beijing Youth Travel Service.

"However the trip price possibly will go down in October, since trip prices are always determined one month in advance," she said.

Mai said she has already seen a severe drop in Philippines inquiries, and that some travelers were considering canceling their trips.

As Chinese authorities have not officially asked people to delay or stop travel to the Philippines, if customers break their travel agency contracts, they may lose their ticket issuance fees and down payments.

"You'd better arrange your holiday to the Philippines at the end of this year," recommended a travel agent at the China International Travel Service. "The fee by then will definitely have gone down."

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