COVID impacted consumption expenditures on tourism in the hardest way

Published on : Monday, April 26, 2021

Due to the pandemic, the consumption expenditures in the tourism and leisure sector of South Korea have dropped by over 20 percent in 2020, a state-funded think tank said Monday.

The foreigners’ spending in particular in the domestic tourism and leisure sector has dropped by 80 percent. The travel industry was hit in the hardest way possible among the relevant industries, the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute said.

The consumption expenditures in 2020 in the tourism and leisure industries of the country were estimated at 134.89 trillion won ($121 billion), a slump of 21.8 percent, or 37.68 trillion won, from the year before, the institute said.

Foreigners’ spending fell 76.6 percent to 1.66 trillion won of the total expenditures, as local people’s spending dropped 19.5 percent to 133.24 trillion won, it noted. The tourism and leisure sector expenditures month wise marked the hardest drop of 45.7 percent to 7.54 trillion won in December when the third wave of COVID-19 began here. When the coronavirus started in March to spread in earnest nationwide, the decrease rate was 33.5 percent.

Consumption expenditures in travel sector industry wise, showed the steepest drop in 2020, diving 83.5 percent to 407.1 billion won, the institute said.

For the casino industry, the decrease rate was 78.8 percent, compared with 73.5 percent for duty-free retail, 71.7 percent for the airline industry, 59.2 percent for the tourism souvenirs and gifts business, and 45.4 percent for the tourism accommodation industry, it said.

The car rental sector posted a growth of 4.7 percent to 531.7 billion won, it noted, adding all the figures were estimated from credit card spending by foreigners and locals

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