A charter bus company in Chungbuk, Cheongju, on The 24th. There is a bus that does not operate in the garage. Final Rights Reporter

A charter bus company in Seowon-gu, Chungbuk Province, on the morning of The 24th. Nine 45-seater buses stood in the garage. Mr. Lim, 53, the company’s representative, said, “The rows are canceled due to corona, such as school field trips, commuting, and government business trips, and the cars are standing on weekdays and weekends.”

Mr. Lim, who has been running a charter bus company for 17 years, is the president of a small and medium-sized carrier with 24 buses. There are a total of 27 employees, including bus drivers. In the meantime, charter buses were used during the week for school commuting and corporate commuting, and on weekends for mountain meetings, clubs, weddings, and other events. However, in the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19), the school was shut down, the cancellation of various events, and the sharp drop in demand from travelers.

Mr. Lim said, “The deficit is piled up by the interruption of commuting, hands-on events, school trips, and local festivals, which were the main source of income,” and that “it is difficult to sustain the day-to-day with more than 80% less sales than before the Corona crisis.” He said, “The contract for commuter buses with the manufacturers in Cheongju Ochang and Jincheon has passed the bankruptcy crisis, but one of these contracts expires at the end of this month, and some drivers have to be sent out.”

Corona 19 Long-term has become a popular destination for related industries such as travel, transportation, and lodging. This year, most of the events, commuting, and commuting have been suspended, and the recent corona 19 re-outbreak has resulted in the opening of the school. Officials in the industry say that the recession is more deeply sluggish than self-employed restaurants and cafes, which have recovered briefly since Corona 19’s brief stint in June.

Corona 19 is a major industry that is on the brink of closure. According to the figures of national tourism agencies released quarterly by the Korea Tourism Association Central Association, as of June 30, there were 21,671 domestic and international travel agencies, 444 fewer than the 22,115 in the first quarter (January-March). That’s more than 2.5 times higher than the 168 travel agencies closed in the first quarter of the corona outbreak. Large travel agencies were also damaged, but small travel agencies with fewer than 10 people were hit by direct hits.

A representative of The NaKunok Oil Travel Agency, who has worked in the travel industry for 40 years, opened a café on one side of his office to pay rent after the company was in a serious financial crisis with Corona19. Travel agencies are also doing so, but there have been few inquiries due to the recent corona 19 re-proliferation. [사진 유성여행카페]

As the recession continues to be prolonged, some people have called for self-help measures. Na Kun-ok, 66, who has been a travel agency for more than 40 years near Incheon Juan Station, recently changed his travel agency office to a meteortravel café. The travel agency is closed, but it’s about to earn rent right away. Mr. Na said, “My reservation was cancelled in January, and i finally broke my deposit and insurance for more than 10 years, and by the end of June, I started to call the school or government office again, and it was cancelled.”

The travel agency is an outbound company responsible for traveling to Southeast Asia and Japan by korean group tourists with three employees and billions in sales. Mr. Na said, “There were a lot of group reservations for 30-40 people at the end of last year, and it was full until August of this year,” and he said, “I was struggling to get more staff, and when the corona popped up, I asked for all the reservations and penalties, and the deficit continued.”

He also said, “Since May, we have been providing employees’ salaries as government employment maintenance subsidies, and now it is difficult to cover the four major insurance plans, and we don’t even know what to do after that, because government support is up to March next year.” “Half of the 400 travel agencies in Incheon have been closed, some have been delivered to their offices, and others are miscellaneous goods,” he said, adding, “Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) has been struggling for three to four months, but now it’s not going to be seen.”

The lodging industry was also in a crisis. Mr. Park, 38, who runs a youth hostel in The Bulguk Saga in Gyeonggi-buk, north Gyeonggi Province, has been receiving a daily notice of cancellation of school trips these days. Park said, “25 schools have booked school trips this year, and most of them have been postponed to cancel.” Mr. Park also said, “All the employees who have been through the Sewol, Mers, Races, and Pohang earthquakes for four years have been sent out, and all four families have been suspended from the area, and now they have been forced to pay 4 million won in electricity taxes in the last two months.”

The lodging facilities around popular tourist attractions are hesitant to attract group tourists. Many guests ask the question of “Do you have a group tour?” A hotel in Yangyang County, Gangwon Province, which is adjacent to Seoraksan, which attracts many visitors to autumn foliage, is currently closed for group tours.

Before Corona 19, the community of tourist bus drivers has been promoting since August to attract visitors to the autumn leaves. For this reason, from August to October, when the autumn leaves season, groups of tourists flocked to the 150-room room, but this year the situation changed. “The number of cancellations has increased more than ever before,” said The Hotel’s Head of Guest Rooms, Kim Mo, 34, adding, “It’s hard to predict how the corona situation will flow in the future, so don’t take group tourists.”

Busan Haeundae Beach, which opened on July 1, was closed early on 20 July due to the corona 19 re-proliferation. Song Bong-geun, Reporter

Beaches across the country also suffered a devastating blow this summer due to Corona 19. Double parasols and tube rental companies ruined a summer iron business due to corona 19 re-proliferation. In the aftermath of Corona 19, beaches across the country are closing early. The double Busan Haeundae Beach has been affected by corona 19, with the number of parasols reduced from 300 to 144 per company (12 in total) and the damage was significant. Mr. Wool, 58, who runs a parasol consignment company, said, “It is common practice for parasol companies to take out loans before the opening of the beach, pay for cleaning, etc., and pay back with the money they earned in the summer business,” adding, “This year, sales were only 20 million won, which was one-third of last year’s sales, but after paying 20 million won in labor costs, 12 million won was left in debt.”

Experts pointed out that support for tourism is also needed, but it is time to make changes to suit post-corona. Professor Kang Hae-hae, professor of tourism at Dongseo University, said, “It is time for a niche strategy, such as developing a program of “individual tourism” for families and traveling around life, and that there are currently very few places created by local governments to fund tourism, but this is a way to raise funds to support them immediately when problems such as corona occur.

Park Geun-hwa, senior specialist at the Korea Institute of Culture and Tourism, said, “Since Corona 19, we need to develop content in the direction of revitalizing domestic tourism.”

Cheongju, Gyeonggi, Yangyang, Busan = Moon Wook, Final Rights, Baekkyung Seo, Park Jin-ho, Lee Eun-ji, Choi Eun-kyung reporter we@joongang.co.kr

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