AviationJeju Island in need of visitors as China ban hits arrivals

AirAsia X looks to South Korea as hub for US flights

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Sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong, Jeju island
Sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong, Jeju island Photo Credit: NATA_0101/iStock

Marriott is set to open its first Marriott Resort in Jeju this December, part of the planned integrated resort project, Jeju Shinhwa World, that also features a casino and amusement parks.

AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) is exploring South Korea as a connecting hub to the United States.

CEO Benyamin Ismail, speaking at the launch of AirAsia X flights to Jeju Island, said the budget carrier is planning to speak to the US and South Korean governments about the availability of fifth freedom traffic rights.

AirAsia X will be flying four-times- a-week to Jeju - dubbed the “Hawaii of South Korea” - from December 12.

“This will provide an additional 150,000 capacity annually and will be a significant boost to strengthen business and tourism ties between Malaysia and South Korea,” said Benyamin. 

Jeju Island has been badly hit by China’s ban on package tours to South Korea after a diplomatic spat over a US-made missile system.

Ninety per cent of Jeju’s foreign visitors come from China. Between January and July this year the number of Chinese visitors fell to 589,100, 67% lower than the 1.77 million in the same period of 2016.

Marriott is set to open its first Marriott Resort in Jeju this December, part of the planned integrated resort project, Jeju Shinhwa World, that also features a casino and amusement parks.

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