Photo of empty Incheon International Airport booths due to COVID-19 on Monday (Yonhap)
A survey by the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute survey showed that Koreans are becoming more relaxed about domestic travel as the COVID-19 situation continues.
KCTI conducted online survey about traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic in May last year on 2,000 Koreans over 15 and did a follow up survey last November on the same subjects, to which 1,079 responded. The results showed that Koreans became more willing to travel in the six-month period.
While only 22.8 percent responded in May that they had traveled domestically after the spread of the virus, 58.1 percent in November said that they had traveled domestically.
Of the people that went on trips in Korea, the people who responded that they traveled to places without many people rose from 60.5 percent in May to 66.5 percent in November. In the second survey, 50.5 percent said they traveled only for one day to a nearby area without staying overnight while 46.6 percent engaged mainly outdoor activities during their travels and 37 percent traveled by looking at scenery from their cars. In the first survey, 49.4 percent of people said the main method of travel was by seeing scenic views in their cars.
As for the reasons for traveling, 71.6 percent responded that they thought it was safe to travel as long as social distancing measures were kept and 50.3 percent responded that being stuck at home was frustrating, which were both higher than in May at 70.1 percent and 46.9 percent. However, only 10.6 percent thought times were safe to travel in the second survey compared to 19.5 percent in May.
As for activities that people wanted to do but were unable to because of COVID-19, 49 percent responded international travel, 48.2 percent said domestic travel, 43.6 percent said watching movies in theaters, 38.4 percent said getting together with friends and 18.8 percent said watching performances in the second survey. Only 38.4 percent had responded international travel in May.
Meanwhile, 90.4 percent of the respondents said they are willing to travel domestically in 2021.
People were also becoming more lenient on international travel as 9.5 percent were willing to travel abroad despite COVID-19 in November, compared to 5.7 percent in May. Also, 16.8 percent of the respondents were willing to choose international travel destination without regard for two-week quarantine, a stark increase compared to 6.2 percent in May.
By Lim Jang-won (email@example.com