Too few rooms at the inn for tourists

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Too few rooms at the inn for tourists

Korea loses up to 29 percent of foreign tourists due to lack of accommodations, according to a survey conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization.

The survey was conducted in an attempt to figure out what the nation needs to offer to host all travelers interested in taking trips to Korea.

The Korea Tourism Organization yesterday released data it compiled over two months from its survey on 142 local travel agencies, 298 overseas agencies and 4,099 individual travelers.

Local travel agencies responded by saying they could draw 20 percent more travelers to Korea while overseas agencies said that they could send 29 percent more travelers if there were more rooms at the inn.

More than 64 percent of local agencies answered that they failed to bring in travelers to Korea due to the limited number of rooms available.

Almost half of overseas agencies answered that they had similar experiences.

Nearly 13 percent of individual travelers canceled their plans to travel to Korea as they had trouble finding suitable lodging.

The majority of the lodging problems were among travelers wanting to come to Seoul or Jeju.

“Although there has been a lot of talk that Korea needs to have more accommodation not to lose tourists, we haven’t had a complete and official study to prove how short we are,” said Kim Ji-sun, assistant director of the Korea Tourism Organization’s communications team, adding that the data will provide guidance to the local hotel industry if they plan to expand their facilities.

However, the limited number of rooms in Korea isn’t the only problem. Individual travelers pointed out that affordability of the accommodation is another key factor.

By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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