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Cancellations in Mt. Geumgang Tour Due to Nuclear Test

Posted October. 11, 2006 06:49,   


The Mount Geumgang tour program has been hard hit by North Korea’s nuclear test.

Three hundred ninety-five of the 1,263 people who planned to go to Mount Geumgang cancelled their reservations, a 31.2 percent rate, according to Hyundai Asan on October 10. This is about eight times more compared to the four percent rate on previous day.

Among the 1,563 people who planned to go on October 11, the number of canceling tourists has not yet been calculated, Hyundai Asan said.

The increase of additional cancellations is in prospect according to a company, which has received constant cancellation or postponement calls.

“We rarely received a cancellation call before the nuclear test because of the beautiful scenery of Mt. Geumgang dressed up in red leaves, but about 100 people cancelled or delayed their tours on October 10,” said an official of Donghwa Airlines.

Hyundai Asan will give a full refund to customers who cancelled their tours after the nuclear test. Previously, the refund was only 50 percent.

Two hundred fifty canceling customers on October 10 included groups of Methodist Church members and self-governing bodies such as the Gyeongnam provincial office and Seongnam City Hall. The cancellation rate for individuals was about five percent, which is about the same as the average rate of 4-6 percent.

The financial loss to Hyundai Asan is expected to increase since the nuclear experiment was conducted in October, a peak tourist season of Mount Geumgang.

The company adjusted the goal of expected tourists to 270,000 people from the 300,000 of last year after North Korea’s missile experiment in July, but the possibility of attainment seems to be very slight as a result of recurring shocking incidents by North Korea.

“The nuclear experiment is a big issue, but it is not a military collision between two countries nor are there any problems for visitors. We will move forward with our normal schedule,” Hyundai Asan said.

About 40,000 people reserved tours to Mount Geumgang in October, and up to October 9, about 7,000 people already have gone, according to Hyundai Asan.