Bruneians still travelling to S Korea

Bruneians still travelling to S Korea
Tourists wearing masks to prevent themselves from contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) arrive at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea

Brunei citizens are still following through on their travel plans despite the outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, said a local travel agency yesterday.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

As of Friday, The New York Times reported that four people have died from MERS in South Korea.

Pan Bright Travel told The Brunei Times that they will not be cancelling any of their scheduled tours as two groups, comprising 40 travellers, will depart for South Korea next month.

"So far we have 19 to 20 people in each group, planning to depart for the country in July during the Hari Raya festivities. Most of them are locals and another group set to go comprises Malaysian and Singaporean nationals for a company trip," said the travel agency.

Fellow agencies, Anthony Tours and Travel and Century Travel said travellers are the ones who will decide if they are to follow through with their travel plans.

"Travellers who have booked tours for December are still monitoring the situation closely and adopting a wait-and-see approach. At the end of the day it's up to the travellers to decide whether to go or not," said a representative from Anthony Tours.

He said that, as for now, tours going to South Korea under the agency are still on but free independent travelers have begun cancelling trips to South Korea amid fears of virus transmission.

He added some travelers are playing it safe as two locals have recently cancelled a visit originally scheduled for this month.

A Century Travel representative said many people are still going ahead with their plans to visit South Korea despite the cancellations of some free independent travellers.

"Some bookings are in September and October and they (visitors) are still holding on to the bookings," he said.

"There were some concerns and some have chosen to postpone the trip," he added before advising travellers to always be mindful of their health and securities when travelling overseas.

Meanwhile, traveller Sabrina Wong said she will still be flying off to South Korea next month despite being a little worried.

"I've always wanted to go to Korea and I bought my air-ticket sometime last year. I have already applied leave from work for this trip so If I back out now, I will just waste money," she said, adding that she has been saving up for the trip for over a year.

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