English teachers in Korea and other Seoul expats are returning to Seoul’s iconic commercial districts, such as Myeongdong and Itaewon, which had lost customers in the face of the direct hit of Corona-19. Likewise, foreign-friendly Seoul stomping grounds are seeing an uptick in global patrons, such as lively neighborhoods like Hongdae, Insadong, Jongno, Apgujeong and nightlife districts around universities like Ewha Women’s University and Konkuk University.
Not too long ago, things were completely different and these popular hubs for English teachers in Korea were almost like ghost towns.
Also, as the self-quarantine standards for inbound travelers are further exempted, foreign tourists are also starting to come back.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the vacancy rate of small to mid-sized outlets in Myeongdong was around 50%.
However, as the atmosphere has changed this spring, inquiries with real estate agencies regarding commercial rentals have also increased.
Merchants say they’re still at a loss, but they’re gearing up for customers in hopes that things will get better.
Itaewon, which is visited by many young people, is seeing even a faster recovery.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the vacancy rates of small to mid-sized outlets in Itaewon were 5.9% and 9.4%, respectively, significantly lower than during the same period of the year before that.
However, among merchants, customers are still increasing mainly in large outlets and department stores, so there are some opinions that it is necessary to wait more to see if the entire commercial area will survive.
Let us know in the comments if you frequent any of these areas and are beginning to see some form of a revival!