Jeju Province’s health authorities are on high alert ahead of the Chuseok holiday as some 200,000 tourists are expected to visit the scenic island from Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.
The Jeju Tourism Association projected on Wednesday that at least 198,000 visitors will enter the island over the five-day holiday.
This means a daily average of about 40,000 visitors landing on Jeju, close to the figures seen during the summer peak holiday season.
Airliners are seeing booking rates of between 70 and 80 percent for their routes to Jeju from Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, and Gimhae, near Busan, prompting some airlines to deploy additional flights for the Chuseok holidays.
Booking rates for accommodation and rental cars are also rising sharply for that period, alarming Jeju’s health authorities.
Most of the golf courses on Jeju are already fully booked for the five days.
As the social distancing measures have been relaxed from Level 2.5 to Level 2, nationwide demand for travel appears to be favoring Jeju.
With about two weeks left till Chuseok, local governments are asking South Koreans to refrain from visiting their hometowns.
The central government has said it will toughen its social distancing measures during the holidays, limiting how far people can travel.
Jeju health authorities said they will focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19 by asking people to abide strictly by disease prevention guidelines and refrain from visiting risky places.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org