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Koreans choosing not to visit Japan over Chuseok holiday amid boycott Updated: 2019-09-14 12:46:00 KST

Incheon International Airport is one of the places where the boycott campaign against Japan is noticeable.
The boycott seems to have led many South Koreans to decide on alternative destinations during the Chuseok holiday.

"We were planning to go to Japan, but since the incident in July,… we decided to take part in this boycott campaign and go to Singapore instead,… even if it cost us a bit more money."

"My dad is into politics,… and I think it has somehow affected the decisions behind our family trip this year. We decided to go Saipan because its cheap and close."

This is a remarkable change compared to last year's Chuseok holiday,… when many Japanese cities were among South Koreans' favorite travel destinations.
This year, more people are heading to other destinations like Southeast Asia.

"This year, people are travelling less to Japan and Hong Kong,… instead, they are heading to Southeast Asia and China. Looking at the percentage of destinations last month,… compared to the previous year, the number of people going to Southeast Asia increased by 15 percent."

But some travelers also pointed out,… traveling to where they want to visit during the holiday season is their own right as tourists,… and such diplomatic issues should be separate from cultural exchanges.

"I know there is this tense political relationship between the two,… but we, as consumers, should be more objective when it comes to spending our own money."

"I know there is this boycott campaign right now in Korea,… but personally, we should think twice when it comes to bringing political issues into cultural exchanges. I don't think pointing fingers is necessary for travelling where you want to."

Many experts have said the trends seen over Chuseok are part of an inevitable change in travel trends.

They say, while the number of South Korean tourists visiting Japan tumbled more than 7 percent in July from a year earlier, the figures that will come out over the next few months are expected to show a much larger drop if the relationship between Seoul and Tokyo doesn't improve.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News Incheon .
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