With the value of the Japanese yen falling
against the Korean won, Japanese tourists are finding it more expensive to visit Korea.
… one of their favorite holiday destinations.Korea’s tourism industry is now starting to feel the
pinch from fewer Japanese visitors.Arirang’s Hwang Ji-hye has the details. Myeongdong is one of the most crowded tourist
attractions in Korea.But it’s hard to find many Japanese tourists here these days. “In times when there were many Japanese tourists
visiting Korea, I had to queue them up in a line. But now I don’t have to do that because
there aren’t that many.”The reason lies in the weak Japanese yen,… which has left Japanese
tourists with less money to spend overseas. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s move
to pump money into the system caused the nation’s currency to tumble by nearly 20 percent…
against the Korean won at the end of last year compared to a year earlier.Duty-free
shops are striving to overcome the thorny issue of the weakening Japanese currency…
as their price competitiveness has eroded. “We’ve been going through various kinds of
marketing strategies using the Korean Wave, like giving out clothes that Korean celebrities
wore in advertisements and organizing fan meetings.”The Korea Tourism Organization says…
that the monthly average of more than 300-thousand Japanese tourists started slowing down for
the first time last October.The number stood at a mere 220-thousand last month — an over
20 percent drop from the same period last year.
“Before, we could buy products at 50 percent off the prices we’d pay in Japan,… but because
of the recent drop of the yen, the discount is now just around 20 percent. So I don’t
buy alot.” With analysts expecting the Japanese yen to
continue its slide against the U.S. dollar and the Korean won this year,… related Korean
industries see a bumpy road ahead. Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.