August 23, 2011 10:14
Vendors whose livelihoods depend on the summer vacation season took a hit this year as torrential rains and storms truncated the season, thinning down holidaymakers and eating into their profits.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Seoul only experienced 22 rain-free days between July 1 and Aug. 22.
Meanwhile, only 5.69 million holidaymakers visited Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, this year, a drop of more than 1 million from last year.
Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province, which ranks among the top destinations for summer vacationers on the west coast, saw 13 percent fewer visitors compared to last year's 8.96 million.
And the outdoor swimming pools along the Han River, which bisects the capital, saw their visitor numbers cut by more than 200,000 on-year as only 365,967 people turned up this summer.
The drawn-out rainy season also had a knock-on effect on sales of summer vacation items, which dropped considerably. In the case of E-Mart alone, sales of inflatable boats and tubes fell by 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
This spelt bad news for vendors, but good news for moviemakers and cinemas, with the indoor multiplex COEX Megabox attracting 3.03 million visitors, up 13 percent from last year.
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