July 22, 2020 12:51
The government on Tuesday declared Aug. 17 a substitute holiday for Liberation Day, which falls on a Saturday, to boost consumption over the long weekend.
At a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, President Moon Jae-in said the decision aims to give a "short but precious time for rest" to people exhausted from the protracted coronavirus epidemic.
Liberation Day is not normally among holidays that merit a make-up day if they fall on the weekend.
Hyundai Research Institute estimates that Koreans will spend some W2.1 trillion on the extra holiday alone (US$1=W1,197). That means the long weekend could offer a substantial boost to the virus-ridden economy. It is expected to benefit particularly the hospitality, food and recreation sectors.
The institute made the estimate on the assumption that about half of the population, or 25 million people will be able to take the long weekend off and make the most of it, spending on average W83,690 daily per person.
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