SEOUL, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Chinese tourists who once flocked to the North Korean border city of Sinuiju are now subsiding, according to a South Korean press report.
The travelers lured by a half-day tour package that didn't require visas are complaining about the lack of attractions in the relatively isolated country, Yonhap reported Wednesday.
Tourism is a key source of revenue for North Korea, currently under heavy economic sanctions.
Half-day tours of the country began to be on offer in July from Dandong China International Travel Service, and the trip did not require passports or visas.
But a source at the China border told Yonhap on Wednesday the tours that were once wildly popular have begun to receive negative reviews.
In July, as many as a thousand tour packages were sold daily to Chinese tourists. More than 70 days later 16,000 tourists had traveled to North Korea, and an average of 200 Chinese nationals were visiting the country, according to the report.
More recently, however, those numbers have dropped and the package tour now averages 90 visitors daily.
Yonhap's source said the reasons for the setback include less-than-enthusiastic reviews of the half-day tours.
"The cause for the sharp decrease in half-day Sinuiju tourists is the lack of attractions," the source said. "People who visit once do not want to go back."
Other complaints have focused on restrictions against souvenir photographs, "discomforts" during travel and other negative experiences in the country.
A second source in China identified as a travel specialist told Yonhap the decline could be seasonal and that the half-day tours have already been sold to 20,000 travelers.
New tour packages are also under development, the source said, including tours by car to area attractions like the Donglim waterfalls, according to the report.