SEOUL, July 5 (Korea Bizwire) — With the boost in the popularity of outdoor activities following the onset of the coronavirus, some ill-mannered people are leaving their tents behind at free campgrounds to prevent others from using the best sites.
They set up tents in the most popular locations inside camping areas, leaving them behind for weeks, or even months.
These tents, faded after exposure to the elements and covered in dust, are an inconvenience to other guests by depriving them of the chance to camp there.
Every weekend, people engage in fierce competitions to take over remaining spots at campgrounds due to these empty tents taking up unnecessary space.
As a result, many campgrounds have either shut down or turned into paid camping sites.
Heukseok-dong Recreation Area in Daejeon, a central city about 150 kilometers south of Seoul, was struggling with some 20 ‘spot-saving’ tents before the municipal office forced them out and temporarily shut down the entire campground.
Jujeon Family Resort Camping Ground in the southeastern city of Ulsan turned into a paid campground in March after struggling with a similar problem.
With the rising popularity of camping following the pandemic, almost one-third of all campgrounds were filled with ‘empty’ tents since last year.
“People are healed by the landscape and various programs they participate in as they travel,” said Lim Seok, an official of a municipal office in Gwangju. “Privatization of these by the few is absolutely unacceptable.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)