April 22, 2011 11:24
Korean travel agencies have been slashing prices on tours to Japan since the massive earthquake and tsunami there. Package tours go for half the pre-earthquake prices and cost as little as W100,000 (US$1=W1,080).
The number of visitors has almost halved. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, 89,100 Koreans traveled to Japan last month, down 47.4 percent from 169,295 on-year.
A JNTO official said, "The number of Korean travelers had been on the rise since 1997. The trend stopped briefly after the global financial crisis in 2007, but this is the first time the number has fallen so sharply. We don't have statistics for April yet, but it seems the number fell further this month.
"Tourists are avoiding travel to areas south of Nagoya, Kyushu in particular, just because they too are part of Japan, even though there's no problem with travel to the areas that were not hit by the earthquake and tsunami or damaged by radiation" from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
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