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Two-way Travel Business Not Hit by Calls for S. Korea Boycott in Taiwan:Source
South Korea-related businesses in Taiwan are not being affected by public outrage over a major dispute involving South Korean sports officials. "No one has canceled any bookings for South Korea travel programs so far,"a local travel agent in Seoul said on Nov. 21 quoting Vincent Lin, vice president of the Taipei-based Lion Travel Service Co. as having said.

Another source with a closer relation with Taiwan travel business said that the dispute has no negative impact on Korea-Taiwan travel business as of now.

There were calls for a boycott of South Korean products and TV programs after a female Taiwanese taekwondo athlete was disqualified on Nov. 17 at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, when the chief referee, a South Korean national, said that she had extra sensors in her electronic socks in violation of the rules.

Her treatment sparked an outrage in Taiwan toward South Korea as Yang Jin-suk, secretary-general of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), like the chief referee, is from south Korea.

The controversy is the latest episode in a long-running feud between Taiwan and South Korea in the international sports arena.

Using the Internet as a tool, many Taiwanese called for a boycott of South Korean goods, including a popular pickle known as kimchi.

Several stores said they would no longer welcome South Korean customers, according local media reports.

South Korea has become a popular tourist destination for Taiwanese people in the past two years partly due to the increasing popularity of South Korea soap operas in Taiwan.

For example, about 80 or 90 percent of local flights to South Korea have been booked all the way until December.

The number of Taiwanese tourists to South Korea grew 36.87 percent in September this year from a year earlier, new government figures show. The number rose 3.51 percent during the first nine months of this year compared with the same period of last year.

In the meantime, on-line newspaper of Chosun Ilbo, the country’s leading vernacular daily reported on Nov. 21 that Taiwan government in Taipei has notified Seoul government through diplomatic channel of its official position on the ongoing dispute in connection with Taekwondo player making it clear that the issue has nothing to do with Korean government but matters that should be resolved by the sports organizations involved.






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