According to a survey carried out annually by HR company Saramin, this year’s Chuseok festival might turn out to be a lonely one for South Korean office workers living in urban centers. Almost 58 percent said they would not return to their hometown to visit family this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of those forgoing travel went up significantly. Last year, only around 40 percent of respondents said they were skipping the trip home.
Even among those who said they were still planning to go home, three quarters said that the coronavirus was putting a damper on their trip. Respondents cited restrictions affecting leisure activities and avoiding visiting at the same time as other relatives as burdensome. Around half of all respondents said that the circumstances would cause them to spend less money than usual on this year’s festival. Many are saving on travel costs, while others have planned smaller gatherings or were not planning on eating out.