As the fresh artillery attack by North Korea on the South tears apart the already divided Korean peninsula, travel agents fear this would have adverse effects on tourism in South Korea.
North Korea fired artillery shells at a South Korean island Yeonpyaong Island in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday that killed four people. South Korea, which has enjoyed being one of the most visited destinations in Asia, is gearing up to see cancellations in holiday bookings.
“The number of cancellations has jumped despite the cancellation fees. Travelers are worried about their safety, and we are worried about the amount of canceled trips growing for an extended period,’’ a travel agent in South Korea told the media, adding that even though November does not attract tourists, the effect of the North Korean attack on tourism is anyway inevitable.
In view of the tension in the region, even Japan has issued a caution to its citizens traveling to South Korea. “We had a 20-person group of Japanese tourists cancel their travel package,’’ a travel operator was quoted as saying in the local media.
However, Samuel Koo, President & CEO of Seoul Tourism, assures that Seoul is safe from any consequences of the recent attack. “We are used to live with this permanent confrontation between the South and the North. And this is likely to continue for a long time but has no consequence for Seoul. We remain a welcoming global destination opened to the world,” he told ETN.