ⓕ font-size

  • -2
  • -1
  • 0
  • +1
  • +2

Koreans less satisfied with travel to US due to strong dollar

  • Facebook share button
  • Twitter share button
  • Kakao share button
  • Mail share button
  • Link share button
A flight information display system shows the departure time  to cities overseas at Incheon International Airport, Tuesday. Yonhap

A flight information display system shows the departure time to cities overseas at Incheon International Airport, Tuesday. Yonhap

By Lee Hae-rin

Korean travelers are becoming dissatisfied with trips to countries that use the U.S. dollar due to rising travel expenses from fluctuating exchange rates, a survey showed Thursday.

According to an annual report by Consumer Insight on Koreans' satisfaction with traveling overseas, dollar-using destinations such as the U.S. and Saipan experienced significant drops in satisfaction scores.

The survey interviewed 9,375 Koreans who traveled abroad between September 2022 and August 2023 and collected satisfaction scores on a scale of 1,000 points.

Hawaii (738 points), the continental United States (708 points) and Saipan (706 points) each saw declines of 61, 57 and 73 points, with only Hawaii going over the average score of 735 points for the 27 destinations surveyed.

Notably, Japan jumped to sixth place with 767 points, up 18 places from the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The figure is the highest since the annual study began in 2018.

The surge is "largely due to the fading of the 'No Japan' campaign and cheaper prices due to the impact of the weaker yen," the study noted.

Travel costs were a key factor behind fluctuations in rankings and scores among mid-ranking destinations, according to the study.

The importance of prices, among six factors of the pleasantness of the travel environment — prices, transportation, cleanliness, convenience, safety and language — increased from 2019's 14 percent to last year's 19 percent, while those of other factors either decreased or remained unchanged.

Specifically, airfares are the primary factor contributing to cost increases, and air travel costs to North American destinations jumped 42 percent from 2019 to 2023.

However, satisfaction rate notably increased in Asia, where cost increases were relatively lower than those of the North American destinations, the report said.

It found that respondents were more satisfied with overseas destinations than domestic travel, which could spur growth of the outbound tourism market.

Korea already made a 79.1 percent recovery of its pre-pandemic record high in the number of overseas travelers with 22.7 million outbound tourists in 2023.

About a third of them visited Japan, considering that over 6.95 million Koreans visited Japan last year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization's statistics.

Meanwhile, Switzerland and Spain scored 833 points and 810 points, respectively, becoming the top two countries on the list. Rounding out the top 10 were Australia with 799 points, Italy with 778 points, New Zealand with 775 points, Japan with 767 points, Portugal with 764 points, Singapore with 763 points and Guam with 752 points.

Lee Hae-rin


Top 10 Stories

go top LETTER