Vacationers are seen at Incheon Airport on Oct. 7. Yonhap
South Korea’s tourism trade stays cautious on the impression of the Itaewon tragedy, after the nation noticed its on-year will increase within the variety of inbound vacationers in current months.
Round 337,000 vacationers from overseas visited Korea in September, which is a 276 p.c improve from the identical month a 12 months prior, in keeping with information launched by the Korea Tourism Group on Monday. An outlook by UN World Tourism Group in June this 12 months confirmed that the gradual restoration was anticipated to proceed all through 2022, as extra locations ease or elevate journey restrictions and pent-up demand is unleashed. South Korea’s tourism trade has been additionally pinning hope on the rebound.
Nevertheless, main festivals and occasions scheduled for early November have been canceled within the aftermath of the Itaewon Halloween tragedy, which brought on at the very least 156 deaths, together with 26 overseas victims.
Busan instantly canceled its Busan One Asia Competition 2022, scheduled for Sunday, the following day after the gang surge. The occasion was co-hosted by the Busan Tourism Group and Korea Tourism Group. 13 Okay-pop teams have been scheduled to carry out with 40,000 followers on the website.
The Busan Tradition & Tourism Competition Organizing Committee additionally indefinitely postponed the seventeenth Busan Fireworks Competition, which was scheduled for Nov. 5.
“General, large-scale occasions have been canceled to affix the nation’s mourning interval,” stated an official of the BTO to The Korea Herald on Tuesday. “However about whether or not (the Itaewon tragedy) will have an effect on inbound tourism, we can’t say for certain in the meanwhile. We’ll have to attend and see.”
An official at an area journey company additionally stated the impression is unclear up to now.
“Itaewon was primarily visited by foreigners dwelling in Korea relatively than vacationers visiting the nation. Only a few vacationer packages had Itaewon as one of many locations,” the official stated.
In the meantime, the rise within the variety of inbound vacationers suggests the worldwide journey and tourism trade is slowly recovering and seeing its long-awaited rebound from the pandemic.
By nation, 60,435 have been American vacationers and 29,531 have been Chinese language. From Japan, 27,560 vacationers visited the nation, which is a 2,313 p.c improve from the identical month final 12 months.
KTO assessed that the extension of short-term visa-free entry into Korea from Japan, Taiwan and Macao attracted guests. Within the case of Taiwan, there was a 1,449 p.c improve from 294 to 4,555 guests. Hong Kong guests elevated 2,439 p.c with the resumption of visa-free entry since July.
Different main international locations of visa-free entry embrace the US, the UK, Germany, France and Russia — which confirmed a mixed 248 p.c improve in comparison with the identical month of the earlier 12 months. Whereas Russia started visa-free entry for short-term guests, or for Korea Digital Journey Authorization (Okay-ETA) since April, the opposite 4 international locations started visa-free entry since September 2021.
“The quantity appears to be comprised of particular person journey with out journey businesses,” stated the official on the journey company.
“There are nonetheless only a few vacationers who go to Korea by way of bundle excursions. Principally Chinese language vacationers often took nearly all of the bundle excursions, however there isn’t a inbound journey as Chinese language bundle excursions are nonetheless banned,” he stated.
Korean vacationers touring overseas elevated by 431.6 p.c on-year to 619,954, which is 1.84 instances the variety of inbound overseas vacationers.
By Hwang Dong-hee ([email protected])