August 20, 2019 11:46
The beaches of the east coast are losing their luster as prime summer holiday spots. All beaches along the east coast closed for the summer on Sunday, except those in Yangyang, after failing again to draw their targeted 20 million vacationers.
Only 17.9 million vacationers visited the 92 beaches in Gangwon Province this summer, down 1.3 percent from 18.1 million last summer.
In most areas, including Gangneung, Samcheok and Donghae, visitor numbers declines. Only Sokcho, which opened its beaches at night for the first time, saw a hefty increase by 41.4 percent.
A Gangwon Province official said, "The cumulative number of vacationers this year was the lowest seen since 2006. Even when typhoon Bolaven hit in 2012 we had 19.3 million vacationers, but this year there were even fewer."
Typhoons and other weather factors took their toll. High waves forced authorities to restrict entry to beaches for up to 10 days this summer.
Lee Deok-jae at the Yangyang municipal government said, "Naksan Beach, which is the biggest in the region, closed down for seven days, while rain on weekends due to typhoons caused visitor numbers to drop."
Another cause was a growing number of vacationers opting to relax at the swimming pools of luxury hotels.
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