Korea's Tourism Deficit Surges as Lockdowns End

  • By Hwang Ji-yoon

    October 12, 2022 12:47

    Korea's tourism deficit soared in August due to a sharp increase in overseas travel as worldwide lockdowns ended.
    According to the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the tourism deficit increased 59 percent on-year in August, from US$610 million to $970 million. That is the biggest deficit since January 2020's $1.4 billion and similar to pre-COVID levels.
    That brought this year's cumulative tourism deficit until August to $5.2 billion, up 27 percent on-year. In August 2020, the first year of lockdown, Korea's travel deficit stood at just $470 million.
    The government has pledged to promote tourism and capitalize on the global popularity of K-pop and TV shows. The country has already resumed visa-free entry for visitors and it will increase international flights. VAT refunds for shoppers from abroad on things like cosmetics and accommodation will also be extended until 2024.
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