The Longer the Holidays, the More Young Koreans Go Abroad

  • By Yang Mo-deum

    September 28, 2017 08:38

    Koreans in their 30s and 40 are expected to lead consumption over the long Chuseok break this year, according to analysis of plastic spending patterns by Shinhan Card from 2014 to 2017.

    But people in their 30s will mostly spend their money abroad as the 10-day break gives them a rare opportunity to travel, while those in their 40s are spending their money at home.

    The longer the holidays, the more money younger Koreans tend to spend abroad. If holidays increase from four to six days, spending by 30-somethings abroad rises 30.1 percent. But among people in their 50s it only goes up 13.4 percent and among those in their 40s 11 percent. Even if the holidays increase by just one day from four to five, the number of Koreans heading overseas rises around 18.7 percent. 

    Incheon International Airport is crowded with vacationers on Sept. 11, 2016 (file photo).

    Shinhan Card said many Koreans in their 30s are still single and can travel abroad more freely than other age groups, and younger people feel less obliged to observe Chuseok traditions.

    Among those in their 40s and 50s, traditional obligations hinder overseas travel plans. They include preparing the ritual tables for ancestral rites and visiting relatives. They travel abroad during holidays other than Chuseok or the lunar New Year.

    Instead, people in their 40s increase spending at home over the traditional holidays. Average domestic daily spending by Koreans in their 40s rose around 7.2 percent if holidays increased from four to six days. Among people in their 50s it rose four percent. But people in their 20s, who have less spending power than other age groups, have little reason to spend money when visiting their parents' homes during holidays.

    People who opt to stay in Korea over the break are expected to head to shopping malls or book rooms in local hotels.

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