Huge Pent-Up Desire for Travel, Leisure Activities Looms as COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

As the sun rises behind the hare at Haeundae Beach in the southeastern port city of Busan on January 1, 2023, visitors gather around the monument to watch the first sunrise of the new year and make their New Year’s wishes. This monument was built to commemorate the 2023 Chinese zodiac year of the rabbit. (union)

Seoul, January 3 (Korea Bizwire)With most of the COVID-19 restrictions that kept people trapped during the pandemic lifted, more and more people are making more aggressive plans for the new year.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, between October and November last year, 638,189 people traveled on routes between South Korea and Japan, a sharp increase of 4,040.9% from the previous year.

The number of passengers using routes from South Korea to the US also increased by 219.6% from 115,788 to 370,060 over the same period.

“In the past, I didn’t travel abroad much. But after going through the pandemic, I felt that there was a big difference between not going and not going,” said Lee Da-won, a 30-year-old office worker.

I made plans to travel abroad after the travel restrictions were lifted.

There are probably many people who have lost their motivation due to the corona sickness, or who have been away from exercising due to the closure of their facilities, but have started exercising again.

“This year, we expect a change to the requirement to wear masks indoors.

Some people want to be more active in enjoying cultural performances such as concerts and festivals.

“Last year, some rock festivals were revived. The lineup should be more diverse, so I’ll be attending such a festival this year.”

Experts expect the year to be more dynamic as travel, sports and cultural consumption increase.

“The lifting of mask requirements indoors should be a turning point. Popular culture of crowding in indoor spaces will be revived,” said Choi Hangsub, a sociology professor at Kookmin University.

“Even in school, relationships that relied on eye contact return to normal.”

JS Shin (

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