Hundreds of cruise ship tourists were threatened with jail by immigration officials who refused to let them into China.
Families said they had been “treated like criminals” by staff at Beijing Airport after flying in to join Royal Caribbean's 12-day cruise. The passengers had been told they would be able to enter China under a 144-hour visa exemption system allowing them to spend 3 days sightseeing prior to boarding Quantum of the Seas.
Families said they feared for their safety after being targeted by officials. Many told how they had been separated from their loved ones after individuals had been picked out of groups and refused entry to the country.
Some travelers were forced to fly back to Britain.
An Abta spokesman said that entry into China under a visa waiver was not guaranteed and Chinese border officials had the right "to refuse entry without warning or explanation.”