S.Korea tourism income at 17-year low

SEOUL – South Korea’s tourism income hit a 17-year low in the second quarter of this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.

For the April-June period, the country posted US$1.19 billion in tourism income, down 78.6 per cent from $5.57 billion over the same period last year, Yonhap news agency quoting the data by the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO).

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From three months earlier, it tumbled 65.5 per cent from $3.46 billion.

It is the lowest quarterly amount since 2003, when South Korea’s tourism income recorded $1.11 billion.

The sharp decline came as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global tourism industry, as most countries have closed their borders and imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on foreign arrivals.

The number of foreign visitors in the second quarter of 2020 reached 970,000, nosediving from 4.6 million tallied in the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, South Korean tourists spent a 17-year low of $1.7 billion overseas in the second quarter, down 76.3 per cent from a year earlier.

As a result, the deficit of the country’s tourism account decreased to $510 million for the April-June period, down sharply from $1.64 billion tallied a year ago.

— BERNAMA