Travel agencies asked to suspend tour groups for Davao City-Jinjiang route amid nCOV fears
DAVAO CITY—The Chinese government has asked travel agencies to stop organizing group tours from Jinjiang, China to this city starting on Monday (Jan. 27) until further notice to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (nCOV), a senior Chinese envoy said.
Davao Consul General Li Lin said Chinese travel agencies were urged to suspend group tours for the Jinjiang-Davao air route which started
operating in late 2018.
The request came in the wake of the spread of nCOV.
Jinjiang, part of Fujian province, and Davao City have a sisterhood agreement to boost tourism and trade between the two cities.
Li, however, said individual travels were not covered by the request to suspend group tours.
He said the Chinese government is currently dealing with the disease which originated in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province, and has killed more than 50 people, mostly Chinese nationals, so far.
“We have confidence in controlling the disease,” the envoy said.
Health authorities worldwide are on high alert for the virus with confirmed cases reported outside China in the United States, Japan, Canada, France, Australia, Nepal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.
Li said some staffers of the Chinese Consulate General’s office in Davao have been on vacation in China for the Spring Festival when hundreds of thousands of Chinese travel to their hometowns.
He said the staffers had been advised to avoid visits to areas where nCOV was most prevalent before returning to Davao.
Another protocol being implemented to stop the spread of the virus was for individual passengers to first check their body temperatures before boarding planes and for them to wear masks, according to Li.
In November, Luo Guansheng, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Fujian Provincial People’s Government, cited the growing
tourism and trade ties between Fujian and Mindanao with the opening of the Jinjiang-Davao direct flights.
Luo said Fujian province, considered as the gateway to China’s Maritime Silk Road, received at least 10,000 Filipino travelers in the first nine months of 2019.
Huang Yiming, president of the Fujian Your Tour International Travel Agency Co. Ltd., said at least 4,000 Chinese tourists visited Davao City in the first half of 2019.
The air route between the cities of Jinjiang and Davao is being served by Chinese airline XiamenAir twice a week.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte earlier said the sisterhood pact between the cities of Davao and Jinjiang hoped to establish cooperation in the fields of tourism, trade, culture, education and technology and others.
In a statement, the sisterhood pact could “bring the people of our two cities closer.”
Besides Jinjiang in southeastern China, Davao City also has a sisterhood pact with China’s Nanning City, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Davao and the municipality of Chongqing in southwest China agreed last year to enter into a sisterhood agreement to further boost relations.
Edited by TSB
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