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 percent from $5.57 billion over the same period last year, according to data by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). From three months earlier, it tumbled 65.5 percent 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.
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Meanwhile, South Korean tourists spent a 17-year low of $1.7 billion overseas in the second quarter, down 76.3 percent 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. (Yonhap)