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Hostels in S. Korea turn into long-term stay accommodation to survive the pandemic Updated: 2021-03-05 14:02:35 KST

An empty communal room at a hostel shows what's going on around the world during the pandemic.
With no traveling, the place is devoid of the joy of young backpackers.
The pictures on the wall are the only clue that this was once a happy place where people from across the world would connect and make new friends.

"We had six close staff working here, but deciding that we can't run it normally any more, I had to let them go."

96 percent of the visitors here were from overseas.
Now, trying to make ends meet, the owner has turned the hostel into long-term stay housing making the minimum booking period one month.

"This four-person room has been turned into an individual room. If booked for a month, it would work out at less than 20 U.S. dollars a night compared to more than 100 dollars when it could be booked for a single night at a time."

It's now a one person room with its own bathroom the old mattresses have been moved aside to turn the old bunkbeds into cabinets.
The owner believes this could be an option for anyone trying to find affordable housing in the heart of Seoul.

"There are all kinds of residents foreign guests who have been staying in Korea,from students to ones here for work and Koreans visiting Seoul for work."

"As a student I have like student debt and lots of stuff to pay. And I also have to pay like for my food and everything so I'm really tight on my budget. And The deposit is usually a thing that I can't afford even young Koreans have problems with that I heard."

It may have lost its young, vibrant atmosphere for now, but the owner is hoping that these changes are enough to keep the place running until life returns to normal.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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