Korea expects full tourism recovery from MERS impact by August
Korea’s tourism industry is emerging from the unexpected blow of MERS and anticipates a full recovery by August this year.
Korea’s tourism industry is emerging from the unexpected blow of MERS and Korean tourism officials anticipate a full recovery by August this year, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.
The MERS scare cut daily visitor arrivals from Chinese to Korea by 54.3% y-o-y last June, according to data of Korean consulate in China.
Spraying airline cabins for MERS
In order to counter the MERS impact on tourism, Korea has adopted three measures – waiving the application fee for tour travel visas from July 6th to mid-September, extending validity of those tourist visas issued around the time of the MERS outbreak from three months to six months, and offering visa-free entry to Chinese holding a Japanese tour travel visa.
Korea’s second largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, has recently organized a high-level study tour of Korea for a delegation of Chinese tour operator executives. Seoul’s mayor Park Won-Soon will personally act as the tour guide for the group. Mr. Park said the MERS disaster highlighted the importance of Chinese tourists to Korea’s tourism industry. “During the MERS outbreak, Korea was very isolated. In the aftermath of the outbreak, we welcome everybody to visit Seoul again,” he said.
Meanwhile, flight services operated by Asiana Airlines and Korean Air from Seoul’s Incheon Airport to Japan’s regional airports, suspended due to the MERS outbreak, will resume in mid to late July.(Translation by David)