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Card spending on travel and transport rises after lifting of COVID-19 measures
Updated: 2022-06-13 06:17:08 KST
It seems more people are now returning to pre-COVID-19 normal life evidence of which can be seen with an increase in travel demand.
Here at Seoul Station travelers are carrying luggage, with some looking excited about their trips.

"I just arrived here from Busan. Only window seats were available up to several months ago, but now train seats are fully booked even on weekdays."

"I visited Jeju Island a few weeks ago, and the flight was fully booked."

"Total card use for payments
rose 11 percent on-year in April. Of which, public transport spending increased almost 70 percent. This is largely driven by the lifting of COVID-19 measures."

According to data released by South Korea's Credit Finance Association card spending for public transport stood at trillion Korean won or around 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in April.
On top of that, spending on business facility management and business support services which includes travel agencies rose 40.4 percent to over 252 million dollars.

Lifting social distancing has also contributed to high card spending for accommodation and restaurants, and businesses related to leisure activities.
Accommodation and restaurant spending jumped almost 23 percent on-year to 9.1 billion dollars.
The figure for leisure businesses rose 22 percent to over 1.1 billion dollars.

According to one credit card company the number of approved card settlements at duty free shops has also seen a rise.
The company reported that card spending for flight tickets and at duty free shops increased 19 percent compared to the same period last year.
Overseas spending also jumped 17 percent.
And the head of the Korean Credit Card Academic Society predicts even more travel-related spending ahead.

"With travel restrictions eased, demand for overseas travel is seeing a rapid rise. Card spending in travel-related sectors is expected to peak from June to July during the summer vacation period."

He added that as COVID-19 becomes endemic total card spending is likely to continue to increase this year.
Lee Rae-hyun, Arirang News.
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