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June 12, 2015

Asia: Companies Put Brakes on South Korea-bound Events

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Business event specialists in Singapore and Hong Kong are reporting suspension and postponement of meetings and incentives as the number of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases grows in South Korea, hitting 122 today according to the latest update from the South Korean health ministry.

Hong Kong’s Security Bureau has issued a red alert for South Korea, and most outbound agencies have responded by cancelling tours to South Korea that are planned for departures between June 9 and 30, with the exception of cruise programmes.

Jetour Travel Hong Kong’s general manager for events & travel management, Arthur Choy, told TTGmice e-Weekly that four corporate groups with about 80 pax have suspended travels to South Korea.

Choy added that the MERS outbreak also has clients worried about travelling to the Middle East. “We've got a deluxe group planning to visit Dubai this December but the client is worried and hasn't decided yet,” he said.

Although Singapore-based The Meeting Lab has no planned activities in South Korea currently, its general manager, Felicia Teng, said: “It will take at least three to six months (after) the situation clears for corporates to regain confidence in holding events (there) again.”

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