South Korean bookings slow, but few cancellations

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Apr 08 2013 05:53:00 PM HST

Tensions and tough talk by North Korea's new leader are making some travelers nervous. But there is still no state department advisory warning against traveling to South Korea.

HONOLULU -

Crystal Yasuda came down to Orient Travel to buy a ticket for her trip to South Korea.

She leaves the day after tomorrow.  Yasuda has not visited Korea in 8 years.

She isn’t frightened off by Kim Jon Un's threats.

"He try to flex his muscle. He is a young leader so he has to has to show his power," Yasuda said.

North Korea's leader has not only threatened South Korea, but Guam, Japan and Hawaii.

Yasuda thinks the younger Korean leader is a bit of a crybaby, but she doesn’t think the country will make good on the threats.

"I don't think they are that crazy," Yasuda said.

Agency owner Albert Kim says while customers are a nervous, there has only been one booking for a party of six that has cancelled outright.

Without a state department advisory, travelers risk cancellation penalties or not getting refunds on airlines tickets or hotels.

So, there are lots of questions.

"Like I said, they have some concerns.  Before they actually purchase, almost every one of them is asking is it okay?  Is it safe?” said Kim.

Other travel companies say Korea bookings are down from last year.

"As far as tours are concerned it has slowed down in the last two weeks and not too many requests actually," said Kim.

Another customer is confident enough to book a fall trip to Seoul with a group of 30.

"I feel safe because the American government has not warned us not to go. I have faith in the American government." said Honolulu resident Beverly Look.

And North Korea's tough talk isn’t about to stop a group of diehard soap opera fans.

"Some of them watch Korean Dramas and they are into the Korean dramas and they want to see some of the sights where they film it,"said Look.

A real-life Korean military drama may be playing out on the international stage, but for now Hawaii travelers are still planning on enjoying the cherry blossoms and Korean food.

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