More Koreans spending Chuseok holiday alone: survey
By Ock Hyun-ju
Two in five workers in South Korea have no plans to go to their hometowns to visit their family during the upcoming 10-day Chusoek holiday, a survey showed Monday.
According to a poll on 834 workers by job portal site Saramin, 39.4 percent of the respondents said that they had no plans to go back to their hometowns during the holiday that begins on Saturday.
Chuseok is similar to Thanksgiving in the US, with people travelling to their hometowns to spend time with family and friends. This year, with the government designating Oct. 2 as a temporary holiday to bridge the weekend, Chuseok holiday and another national holiday, Koreans have 10 straight days off.
As for reasons, most of the people, or 37.1 percent, said that they wanted to rest, followed by those who had other plans such as a trip or had to go to work at 19.5 percent. Nearly 18 percent of the people said that going back to their hometown was a financial burden and 11.6 percent said that they did not want to be nagged, in the survey where respondents could select multiple answers.
Artificial intelligence-based big data analytics from a local firm Daumsoft showed a trend of more Koreans choosing to spend the holiday alone without going to their hometowns.
“Hometown” was the fifth-most-searched keyword with 3,243 searches online between Aug.1 and Sept. 18 this year. It came in second with 58,648 searches during the same period in 2015 and third with 30,909 searches last year.
The most-searched activity during the Chuseok holiday this year was “travel” (27,312 searches), followed by “class” (8,172 searches), “work” (7,365 searches) and part-time job (1,233 searches).
A separate survey on 1,231 workers by recruitment site Job Korea showed that 52.9 percent of the surveyed will enjoy the 10-day Chuseok break. Some 25 percent said they will work both Oct. 2 and Oct. 6, which were designated as days off by the government to facilitate the 10-day break.