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4 out of 10 business owners in Korea considering permanent closure: KERI Updated: 2021-09-02 11:05:51 KST

Up next domestic travel to mark the summer season appears to have had a positive impact on some parts of the local tourism industry BUT most small businesses have yet to see light at the end of the tunnel.
For more I have Jang Tae-hyun in the studio.
Welcome Tae-hyun.

Hi Sun-hee. Thank you for having me.

Tae-hyun let's begin with the plight of small businesses which we have been covering quite a bit this week.

Well, with the government continuing to extend its tough social distancing rules, more small business owners are struggling to cope with the financial impact of these measures.
According to a survey by the Korea Economic Research Institute, FOUR out of ten business owners here in the country are considering a permanent shutdown of their businesses.
Around half of them pointed to a sharp decline in sales as the main reason, while other factors included, the burden of their fixed cost and loan obligations.

"We're behind on our monthly rent by more than 10 million Korean won. I'm swimming in all kinds of debt, especially after my husband had to get three separate brain surgeries after a cerebral hemorrhage last July."

Nearly 90 percent of the respondents said, their monthly revenues fell after the fourth wave of the pandemic started in July.
On average, small business owners have now lost around a quarter of their earnings compared to the first half of this year.
Many business owners suggested that the government expand its scope of compensation for losses, stemming from its social distancing curbs.
They also called on the authorities to provide subsidies on their rent, and also allow deferments on their loan repayments among other support measures.

Right meanwhile as I mentioned earlier Korea's southern resort island of Jeju has noted a rebound in its tourism market?

That's right, Sun-hee. Many travelers in Korea are flocking to Jeju, since they don't have the option of flying abroad.
Jeju Island and the Jeju Tourism Organization on Wednesday released a glowing report on the revival of the island's tourism sector.
It says Jeju saw a near-20-percent boost in consumption in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.
And around 40 percent of all private spending on the island from January to June in 2021 came from local tourists.
Rental cars and luxury hotels posted double-digit growth, in every month of the year except January.
The rental car industry in particular came roaring back, with an over 140 and 123 percent spike in revenues in April and May respectively.
I also tried to visit Jeju during the summer holiday season, but COULD NOT, because all the vehicles were already taken.
On the flip side however, there were no windfalls for chartered buses and travel agencies as group tours are still not allowed.

And with more people traveling to Jeju Island and other parts of the country there has been a rise in air traffic I hear?

That's right.
For the first time in 17 months, more than 10,000 daily passengers are now visiting Incheon International Airport.
According to the airport operator, the month of August saw a 44 percent increase of in- and outbound passengers compared to a year earlier.
At its peak before the pandemic in 2019, the airport was used by around 200-thousand passengers on a daily basis, before those number plunged due to the impact of restricted air travel and border closures.
An airport official said more people are now traveling for leisure, business, and academic purposes, with vaccines continuing to roll out, and countries relaxing their entry protocols.
340 daily flights are currently operating out of Incheon, a 25 percent increase compared to August last year.
And, with global trade also recovering, the airport is handling more freight, having processed 270-thousand tons of cargo in August, 18 percent more than a year earlier.

All right Tae-hyun thank you for that coverage today.

My pleasure, Sun-hee.
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