SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – The culture ministry on Wednesday decided to halt its discount coupon program aimed at promoting domestic travel in light of the resurgence of new COVID-19 clusters centered on the greater Seoul region.
The decision to suspend the scheme, part of the ministry’s 90.4 billion won (US$76.2 million) project to revitalize domestic spending in the arts and leisure sectors, was made during an emergency meeting between officials from the ministry, the state-run Korea Tour Organization and travel industry representatives.
Following the fast growth in the number of new daily virus cases since late last week, the ministry initially decided to allow the use of coupons at later dates. But it has decided to halt the program entirely.
Those coupons, already distributed since Friday, will be allowed to be used but only under strict adherence to social distancing guidelines, the ministry explained. There is no plan to issue new coupons.
A ministry official said the program could resume when the virus situation comes under control.
Estimated financial losses caused by the new coronavirus since January in the areas of culture, sports and tourism in South Korea have surpassed 7 trillion won, according to the ministry.