[Photo by Kim Ho-young]
Air tickets and hospitality booking for destinations relatively safe from virus spread are selling out fast on pent-up travel demand by South Koreans constrained to home turf for nearly two years.
Booking for flights from Incheon, Korea to Saipan under travel bubble arrangement with no restrictions for vaccinated travelers numbered at 8,400 for the last two months of the year, showed data released by the Korea Customs Service on Thursday. From July to October, a total of 2,517 Koreans left for Saipan.
When Naver Corp. offered 300 flight Singapore Airlines tickets to the Maldives with discount coupons for luxury resorts in livestream commerce show on Wednesday evening, all available tickets sold out in just 57 seconds. Sales from the show topped 200 million won ($170,000), generating 4 million won every second. The live shopping show was joined by 16,000 viewers.
Tourism and travel retail sectors are rapidly recovering from so-called revenge travel after suffering two-year pandemic-forced hiatus.
A total of 26,379 Koreans went on a ‘flight to nowhere` from December 2021 to October 2022, spending 39.1 billion won on duty-free items during the trip. Average spending per traveler was 1.48 million won.
Nearly half of flight-to-nowhere travelers spent more than duty-free allowance of $600.
Korean travels spent the most on cosmetics, accounting for 25.4 percent of the total duty-free sales value from flight-to-nowhere trips. Bags followed next with 17.3 percent, perfumes 12.8 percent, and liquor 6.4 percent.
Korea is due to expand its quarantine-free travel bubble to Singapore for flights from Incheon and Busan-Saipan route this month, according to the Korea Customs Service.
By Ahn Byung-joon, Chang Joo-young and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]