SEOUL, May 9 (Korea Bizwire) — Travel agencies are frustrated over low reservation rates despite soaring demand for foreign travel, and they are blaming their difficulties on what they say are excessive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in South Korea.
Currently, foreign travel requires a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test prior to departure, another one prior to the return journey and a final one after arrival.
The problem is that regardless of the demand for foreign travel, only a few people are aware of these requirements.
“Unless they are going to visit their family or going on business trips, foreign travel is still quite difficult,” an official at a travel agency.
Industry sources say that it is unreasonable to have to get a PCR test overseas prior to the return journey home given the low rate of infections among foreign travelers.
“It would be more than enough to get tested just once after arriving home,” another official said. “I just don’t know if the current government cares about the country’s tourism policy anymore.”
The Korea Association of Travel Agents has asked the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and the transition team of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol to exempt all South Korean travelers entering from overseas from submitting PCR test results.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)