Hotel and vehicle supply disruption due to Corona, maintenance is prioritized
China and Japan, the largest markets for foreign visitors to Korea, must open
An inflection point has come after a year and 10 months of living a limited life due to COVID-19. This is because from November 1, we will begin a gradual recovery of daily life (with Corona). The number of private gatherings will increase and the use of facilities such as restaurants and cafes will be free. We looked at the changes in inbound/outbound and domestic travel that will appear after November according to the new daily life. <편집자주>
With the Singapore travel bubble, the buds of the resumption of the inbound travel market are also sprouting. The travel industry pointed out the need to improve domestic infrastructure, which has been hit by the corona virus, improve the PCR test system for foreign tourists, and actively promote promotions.
The travel industry is in full swing to prepare for the return of foreign tourists after nearly two years. Inbound travel agencies set out to set up travel products ahead of the implementation of the travel bubble. Familiar tours for overseas travel agencies, which have been suspended since the corona virus, are continuing. Earlier in October, the Korea Tourism Organization invited officials from major US travel agencies, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization will hold a Fam Tour for Singapore travel agencies on November 22. A travel agency official said, “I understand that the government is preparing a promotion and visit to Korea campaign using Hallyu content.
However, the task of improving domestic infrastructure remains. In particular, the problem of hotels and vehicles that have been closed or suspended due to the corona virus is being pointed out. Unlike five-star hotels, which enjoyed a special vacation, 3-4-star hotels, where foreign guests were the main customer base, often went out of business because they could not overcome the financial difficulties. An official from an inbound travel agency specializing in MICE said, “There are almost no three-star hotels left, and it is not easy to hire a bus to operate a group package.
There are also difficulties with PCR testing during travel. Currently, for the PCR test performed immediately after entry, the Incheon Airport Corona 19 Test Center is preparing a reservation system for foreigners. Although there are differences depending on the institution, the PCR test cost for foreigners is said to be between 130,000 and 180,000 won, which is somewhat more expensive than that of Koreans. An official from Inbound Travel Agency said, “It would be very helpful if we could improve the efficiency of the travel agency notification method rather than notifying the test results immediately after entering the country by e-mail, and organize the list of possible hospitals for pre-departure testing as a reference.”
Resuming exchanges with China and Japan is essential for the recovery of the inbound market. According to the Korea Tourism Organization, in 2019, China (6023,021), Japan (3,271,706), Taiwan (1,264,93), and the United States (1,044,038) ranked top in the order of tourists. An official of an inbound travel agency predicted, “In fact, Japan and China are the main inbound markets, so the inbound market will be able to enter a full-fledged recovery when both countries are opened.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is preparing manuals for inbound travel agencies and promotions to attract foreign tourists ahead of the Singapore Travel Bubble on November 15.
Reporter Eunji Lee [email protected]
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