Korea′s tourism industry is still feeling
the effects of the MERS outbreak， which prompted future travelers to cancel trips
here… in droves. Fortunately， experts expect the sector to
recover by next month. Park Se－young tells why.
Korea′s tourism income has dropped over ten－percent in recent months， mainly due
to the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
According to statistics released by the Bank of Korea， spending by foreign tourists in
the first half of the year was five－point－five billion U.S. dollars.
This marks an 11－percent decline from the second half of 2014， when the total was
six－point－two billion dollars. It′s the biggest drop since 2009， when
the nation′s tourism sector was hit by a weak Japanese yen.
The number of Chinese visitors has been cut in half， from nearly 620－thousand in May…
to 315－thousand in June. Prior to that， the number of Chinese tourists
had been on the rise. The number of Japanese visitors also dropped
in the same period， from nearly 190－thousand to just over 100－thousand.
Although the number of inbound travelers bounced back to normal levels in August， most experts
say it′s a weak recovery for a vacation season.
Tourists are also spending less， slowing Korea′s tourism growth.
According to the nation′s tourism account， the average spending per tourist this year
up to August was roughly twelve－hundred dollars per person，… a four－point－four
percent drop from last year. But the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute
forecasts a recovery early next month，… with Chinese airlines having restored the
number of flights to Korea in time for China′s seven－day National Day holiday from October
1st to 7th. Park Se－young， Arirang News.