English, Chinese and Japanese conversations are widely heard in Myeong-dong -- Seoul’s famous shopping district for foreign tourists. Shops here typically hire at least one Chinese-speaking employee at the counter to serve Chinese shoppers.
In recent months, it is somewhat difficult to hear the three different languages widely used in Myeong-dong, as the number of inbound tourists sharply declined in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Around the world, countries have tightened border controls and restricted air travel, leading to a drop in the number of reservations linked to both domestic and overseas travel.
South Korea is also feeling the fallout. The travel industry took a massive hit as the number of inbound and outbound tourists plunged. Shopping centers are not as crowded as they were, as people are reluctant to go out for fear of contracting the novel coronavirus. The number of people taking pictures of the bustling streets is small, as well.
Despite the reopening of businesses and schools across the world, it is too early to say that we are ready to go out and fly to far-off places for fun. Vacation plans for the upcoming summer season have been disrupted. Please check out the video to see how Seoul’s No. 1 foreign shopping spot is preparing for a rebound.
Video script and article by Park Jun-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Video shot and edited by Park Su-bin (email@example.com)