November 02, 2021 11:13
One country after another is reopening its borders to vaccinated travelers, and travel agencies and duty-free shops are rolling up their sleeves to kick-start their business.
Thailand opened to fully vaccinated travelers from 63 countries including Korea on Monday as long as they spend one night in a designated hotel on arrival while they await their coronavirus test results.
Singapore has also decided to exempt Korean travelers from hotel quarantine if they carry a vaccination certificate, a COVID negative certificate and a travel insurance from Nov. 15. Vietnam will reopen some major tourist spots to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in December, and Cambodia will reopen some tourist spots on Nov. 30 and Angkor Wat temple in January.
Vaccinated Koreans can already travel to Hawaii, Saipan and the Maldives without quarantine, while Guam does not even require vaccination. In Europe, where vaccination rates are relatively high, about 20 countries like Czech Republic, France, Switzerland and Turkey are exempting foreign tourists from a quarantine.
Travel agents are getting busy. On Monday, Hana Tour, Korea's No. 1 travel agency, began selling package tours to a specific group of countries like Spain and Italy. Mode Tour is offering package tours to Guam and Turkey, while Yellow Balloon Tour began selling package tours to Turkey and Dubai.
Duty-free shops are also keen to emerge from the COVID slump. Shinsegae and others are offering discount coupons to fully vaccinated customers, and Lotte and Shilla are considering hiring more staff.
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