SEOUL, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Revenue of South Korean duty-free stores almost halved last month as the COVID-19 outbreak across the world reduced the number of inbound travelers here, industry data showed Friday.
Combined revenue of domestic duty-free shops reached 1.1 trillion won (910 million U.S. dollars) in February, down 45.5 percent from the previous month, according to the Korea Duty Free Shops Association.
It came as the number of tourists to South Korea plunged last month amid the rapid COVID-19 spread here.
The number of visitors to local duty-free stores was 1,754,000 in February, down 54 percent from a month earlier.
Concerns deepened over the further decline in the duty-free sale in March as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a global pandemic earlier this month.
Travel bans and flight suspensions were found across the world as the virus spread rapidly across Europe and the United States. The COVID-19 outbreak here has slowed down in recent days.