The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus outbreak is starting to take a significant toll on South Korea’s tourism industry.
According to the Korea Association of Travel Agents, the number of foreign travelers who signed up to visit South Korea for July and August was 203,000, an 82% drop from the 1.13 million recorded during the same period last year. The number of tourists from Japan and China during that time frame has fallen 84 percent to 28,000 and 132,000, respectively. Economic losses attributed to the MERS outbreak have totaled 12 billion yen ($97 million) so far, the association said.
Korean Air Lines Co and Asiana Airlines Inc will cancel 230 flights to and from Japan due to the ongoing spread of MERS through South Korea.
Korean Air will suspend a total of 122 flights connecting Japanese airports of Okayama, Akita, Komatsu, Aomori, and Kagoshima with Incheon Airport in Seoul from June 24.
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