Cabinet designates Oct. 2 one-off holiday; domestic spending expected to get boost

The Korean government has added an alternative
holiday in October. Meaning, a 10 straight off days await early
next month. Tour agencies are already busy receiving reservation
calls for hotels and domestic flights. Cha Sang-mi fill us in on the potential impact
of the super long holiday. Many visitors say October is the perfect time
to travel around Korea — and this year, the good news is you don’t have to ask for time
off at work or school to do that. President Moon Jae-in and his Cabinet on Tuesday
designated October 2nd as an “alternative holiday.” It will connect the weekend to National Foundation
Day and the three-day Chuseok holiday. Then there’s October 6th – already a substitute
holiday for National Foundation Day — taking us all the way up to Hangul Day on Monday
the 9th. The government wants to boost domestic spending,
which has fallen due to issues stemming from North Korea’s incessant provocations. According to the Bank of Korea, consumer sentiment
last month fell 1-point-3 points from July. “Currently, the manufacturing sector isn’t
doing so well. So designating October 2nd as a substitute
holiday will be a good way to workers some time off without hurting the work process. When these people go out to spend money on
leisure activities it will help boost domestic demand.” The ripple effect of the alternative holiday
has already been proven effective. The day before voters went to the polls to
elect a president this past May was also made an alternative holiday. The finance ministry saw a 16 percent rise
of sales in department stores and nearly a 20 percent rise in duty free shops compared
to the 4-day holiday in May last year when there was no extra day off. President Moon highlighted the importance
of rest and urged citizens to enjoy the time off. Unlike his predecessors, the President himself
took a 4-day holiday in August to set an example of living a balanced life. Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.

Stephen Childs

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