SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Despite Jeju Island’s tourism industry being at risk due to the coronavirus outbreak, many consumers are voicing discontent due to the island’s poor tourism services.
Netizens are blaming the island’s tourism industry for unreasonable prices, unfriendly workers and low quality customer service.
“There is a virus in Jeju Island that is worse than the coronavirus: the rip-off virus,” said one netizen.
These complaints have been mentioned both by the media and critics over the last couple decades.
Every time it faced certain difficulties, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Japan’s economic retribution, and the recent coronavirus outbreak, Jeju’s tourism industry called on Jeju Province and the government to minimize the damage and provide subsidies.
When summer comes, however, the industry went back to the practice of ripping off customers at beaches and other major tourist destinations.
When customers were forced to cancel their reservations at a pension or a guesthouse due to bad weather conditions, businesses asked for excessive cancellation charges or denied refunds.
Over the past four years, a total of 581 complaints were filed with the Korea Consumer Agency related to guesthouses on Jeju Island.
A lack of tourist programs tailored to suit the demands of foreigners and domestic travelers, an excessive number of museums and theme parks, and uncompetitive, unpopular festivals are also problems left unsolved.
Experts argue that the current tourism industry on Jeju Island only raises frustrations and complaints among visitors, driving them away for good.
Unless business owners admit that they’re in the wrong and decide to improve practices, Jeju’s tourism industry will surely fail, they argue.
Jeju’s tourism industry should make sincere efforts to improve the situation, experts have said.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)