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The rise of pet travel in China, and you can now visit South Korea "for only 9 RMB"

A selection of weekly highlights from China's travel industry:

Over 80,000 Chinese tourists flock to Thailand after visa-free policy announced

On January 2nd, it was announced that China and Thailand will permanently exempt each other's citizens from visas, starting from March 2024. Immigration data shows that, in the first week of 2024, a total of 81,854 Chinese tourists flocked to Thailand.

South Korea's Jeju Island drew millions of Chinese visitors annually before the pandemic

Visit South Korea "for only 9 RMB"

A sales gimmick recently did the rounds featuring a low-cost airline offering tickets from Hangzhou to South Korea's Jeju Island for only 9 RMB (US$ 1.2). Although the final ticket price after taxes and fuel surcharges was over 300 RMB (US$ 42), it does reflects the fact that airfares to South Korea have recently hit rock bottom. For the half-month period from January 15 to January 31, the price of a direct flight from Hangzhou to Jeju Island, including taxes, mostly fluctuates around 348 yuan (US$50). Tickets to Japan have also taken a plunge. Right now, the ticket for a direct flight from Hangzhou to Osaka, including taxes, is 799 yuan (US$ 112), and can go for as little as 627 yuan (US$ 88) if you're willing to transfer via Xiamen. Similar low prices will continue until January 31 before Chinese New Year madness sets in.

China Travel Service leans into rising pet travel trend

On January 6, in the fashionable heart of Shanghai, China Travel Service's Starplayer brand teamed up with local dog owners' club PetWalkin and pet fashion brand GIGIWAWA for a city walk and pet fashion show. As part of the event, new ways of pet travel were discussed, including urban city walks and pet fashion, advocacy for pet-friendly youth-oriented neighborhoods.

30 lucky participants were chosen for the January 6 iteration

(Source: GIGIWAWA official Xiaohongshu)

Thailand teams up with OPPO and Xiaohongshu for promotional leisure travel event

On January 8, Chinese smartphone brand OPPO launched its new flagship phone, the Find X7 Ultra, in China's tech metropolis of Shenzhen. At the same event, the Tourism Authority of Thailand took the initiative to collaborate with OPPO and social media platform Xiaohongshu to launch the 2024 OPPO International Leisure Travel Plan. From January 8 to February 2, those who visit offline stores or e-commerce platforms and search for the Find X7 stand a chance to win free tickets to Thailand.

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