S. Korea recovers number of domestic travelers 1Q 2023 compared to pre-pandemic era: survey

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : April 27, 2023, 17:12 Updated : May 14, 2024, 08:42

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- A survey showed that the number of South Koreans who traveled to at least one tourist spot in South Korea in the first quarter of 2023 has recovered to the level of the pre-COVID-19 pandemic period while the number of those who have traveled overseas has not reached the half of the people who traveled abroad before the pandemic in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Consumer Insight, a domestic market research firm, analyzed that overseas travelers' satisfaction rate was also low due to the poor travel environment.
In a survey of 26,000 South Korean people, conducted by Consumer Insight, about 68 percent have traveled to at least one domestic tourist spot in the first quarter of 2023. In 2020, when the country suffered from the epidemic, only about 58 percent of people traveled domestically. Consumer Insights said that the number of domestic travelers was recovered due to people being unable to go abroad and the lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions including the regulation over compulsory facemasks at public places. 

Meanwhile, the proportion of those who traveled abroad in the first quarter was about 13 percent, which is about half of the number of overseas travelers during the pre-pandemic era from 2017 to 2019. In the first quarter, only 24 percent of respondents said they were planning to travel abroad, remaining at two-thirds compared to the period before the outbreak of COVID-19.
"The satisfaction of people who have traveled abroad has also been lower than in the past because of the poor travel environment which was rapidly established," an unnamed Consumer Insight official said in a statement on April 27. The official said that the overseas travel market needs to transform into a supplier-based market, adding that men in their 20s have become the main consumers.  
In February 2023, Consumer Insight released a survey result showing that the usage of domestic travel reservation services increased during the pandemic while foreign services such as HotelsCombined, Airbnb, and Agoda experienced a decline in their usage rate. The survey, which involved 12,424 online consumers, showed that the most prominent online travel service provider in 2022 was Yanolja, a major online travel service platform operator, with a 22.9 percent usage, followed by a service operated by South Korean portal site operator Naver with 19 percent.
기사 이미지 확대 보기