Travel agencies suspend travel to Philippines

Updated: 2012-05-10 18:20


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GUANGZHOU - Hundreds of Chinese have had their plans to travel to the Philippines cancelled due to safety concerns, according to travel agencies in south China's Guangdong province.

The Chinese embassy in the Philippines said Tuesday that massive anti-China demonstrations were planned in the southeast Asian nation, urging Chinese citizens staying there to watch out for personal and assets security.

The Nanhu Travel Agency in Guangzhou said it will suspend several group trips to the Philippines, with 300 tourists affected by the suspension. The Guangzhilu agency said 200 of its customers have been told that their plans to travel to the Philippines will be changed or delayed. The company currently has 56 clients traveling in Cebu.

Chinese tourism industry insiders said that since tourism is a pillar industry for the Philippine economy, they expect that the country will create a better, more stable environment for visitors.

China and the Philippines have been engaged in a dispute over Huangyan Island, located in the South China Sea. The Philippines sent a warship to harass 12 Chinese fishing vessels that had sailed into the island's waters to seek shelter from inclement weather in early April.

Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said Tuesday that China is "not optimistic" about the Huangyan Island situation and is prepared to respond to any attempts by the Philippines to escalate the dispute.