2019 was the best year in Korean tourism ever with 17,502,623 tourists coming into the country. In comes 2020, with the Novel Coronavirus infecting 10’s of thousands of people and killing thousands worldwide, we are probably looking right into the face of one of the worst travel recessions that will happen in recent history.
I have just issued out the last and final refund for all of our spring tours. Now is usually the time travelers start booking their summer vacations, but you don’t see that happening right now (and why would you, right?). Travelers can’t come to Korea even if they wanted to because the airlines and foreign governments have placed travel bans here. And based on historical booking patterns, even if the virus hit its peak today, travelers wouldn’t even start thinking about coming back to South Korea for at least another 3 months.
The next tour we have scheduled is October of 2020. I’m thankful for those people for staying on with us. That way I can at least live off their deposit money they paid up front. But that is barely enough for me to cover my expenses, plus I’ll have to pay that back later on for when the tour starts. I have some savings, but it kills me that I’m using it for something like this. Hopefully the government will come in and help us out somehow. 2019 was a great year for us so relief on income tax this year would come at a perfect time.
Whatever happens, it still doesn’t change the fact that I still need a way to stay afloat and feed my family during this outbreak. I need to find a way to reinvent myself again. Either I’ll need to start a new business or get a job. I started job searching but I can’t find anything that interests me these days. It also takes me back to those soul killing days of Corporate America slaving away that I thought I was able to escape by building my travel agency here.
I’ve thought about selling outbound travel services before, but given the current climate global travel is not going to take off for awhile. I need to do something today. I love Korean traditional teas and could become and advocate of that, but not sure of the drop ship capabilities of some of the manufacturers here (Shopify store?). What are some things that you would love to see as a product, service or maybe even as an online class from me?