Travelers heading to South Korea can get full or partial refunds from their travel agents after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) raised its travel alert for South Korea, the Tourism Bureau said this week.
On Monday, the ministry raised the travel alert from “gray” to “yellow” for most of South Korea proper because of the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula. However, it listed several small islands close to the Northern Limit Line as “red-alert” areas, including Yeonpyeong Island, Daecheong Island, Socheong Island and Baengnyeong Island.
Yellow alert means that travelers need to heed travel safety when touring and should evaluate whether they should still travel at that time, whereas red alert means that it is inappropriate to travel to the affected destination at that time.
The Tourism Bureau issued a statement late on Monday night in response to the travel alerts. For the yellow alert areas, the bureau said that Clause 27 of the Standardized Contract for Overseas Tour (國外旅遊定型化契約書範本) indicated that the travelers should be refunded in proportion to when they decide to cancel their travel.
Should the travelers cancel the tour 31 or more days prior to its commencement, for example, they would be refunded 90 percent of the tour price. If the notice to cancel the tour was given between 21 days and 30 days in advance, they would be able to get 80 percent of their funds back.
Travelers who decide to cancel the tour on the day when the tour began or after would not be refunded. The costs spent on applications of visas and passports would not be refunded either.
Those heading to the red-alert areas would get full refunds after deducting necessary costs, the bureau added.