Tourism, health care sectors hit by MERS outbreak, report says

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Tourism, health care sectors hit by MERS outbreak, report says

The outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) heavily damaged consumption in the service industry, but not sales in commodities, according to a local institute report.

Although sales at department stores and hypermarkets for June fell 10.1 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, year-on-year, the consumption at online stores surged 13 percent.

Activity at small supermarkets also increased 5 percent, according to a report by the Korea Development Institute. Sales at departments stores also rebounded at the end of June to the same level a year earlier, it added. However, sales in the service industry, particularly in the tourism and health care sectors, were hit hard by the virus’ spread.

Credit card use at hotels and guest houses plummeted 15.5 percent year-on-year. It fell 16.7 percent at culture and leisure centers, 10.5 percent at hospitals and 10 percent in the tourism sector.
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