ATOR: tourist flow to South Korea has fallen since the end of January
Bookings of tours to South Korea have fallen sharply since late January after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in China, as told Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Tour Operators.
Since February 26, Russia has limited air traffic to South Korea due to the outbreak of the coronavirus there. Rostourism and Rospotrebnadzor recommended Russian citizens to refrain from traveling to this country, as well as to Iran and Italy, where the infection also spreads.
“Now in Korea there are 1-1,2 thousand organized tourists. The volume of booking tours there has fallen since the end of January by at least 30%,” said Lomidze.
Aleksan Mkrtchan, director general of Pink Elephant travel agency network, told that Korea is not very popular among residents of the European part of Russia, but the country is in demand among residents of the Far East and Eastern Siberia.
In 2019, more than 320 thousand Russian citizens visited South Korea. The flow there increased tangibly after the mutual abolition of visas in 2014. The most popular travel months are April-May and September-October.
Now, direct flights from Russia to South Korea are operated by Aeroflot, S7, Aurora, Corean Air and JEJU Air.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.