Korea’s monthly travel deficit in July soared to a 7-year high, as the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak held back foreign travelers from visiting the country, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
According to Bank of Korea’s report on the July balance of payments, the travel account logged a $1.45 billion deficit. This is the largest deficit since July 2008, when the global financial crisis pushed up the travel account deficit to $1.65 billion.
An increase in the travel account deficit means that Koreans are spending more overseas than the foreigners visiting Korea.
The travel account deficit in May stayed as low as $410 million. However, the first report of the highly contagious MERS on May 26 dramatically raised the deficit to $1.04 billion in June and $1.45 in July.
Overall, the July current account surplus stood at $10.11 billion, down 16.5 percent month-on-month from June’s $12.11 billion.
By Chung Joo-won (email@example.com