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Some 1,000 travel agencies in S. Korea shutter on virus impact

Nearly 1,000 travel agencies in South Korea have gone out of business in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that started to hit the country in late January, data showed Wednesday.

The number of tour agencies came to 21,671 as of the end of June this year, down 938, or 2.7 percent, from the end of December, according to the data from the Korea Tourism Association.

Compared with the end of September last year, the figure is down 4.1 percent. The number of travel companies in the country began to decline after peaking at 22,609 at the end of September last year.

Travel agencies for overseas trips numbered 9,009 as of end-June this year, down 6.5 percent from September last year. The number of domestic tour companies fell 5.4 percent to 6,661 over the cited period.

The coronavirus pandemic has sent the number of domestic and overseas travelers tumbling this year. In the first half of the year, 2.14 million foreigners visited South Korea, down 75 percent from a year earlier, with the number of overseas travelers plunging 74.5 percent to 3.83 million. (Yonhap)