As South Korea grapples with the outbreak of a deadly virus, a growing number of holidaymakers are calling off trips to the Asian country that in recent years has emerged as a popular travel destination.
As of press time on Friday, South Korea reported four new cases of Middle East Respiratory Sydnrome (MERS), bringing the total number of infections to 126 and marking the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia. Eleven people have died so far.
The spread of the virus has set off alarm bells regarding the health of Asia's fourth-largest economy, as well as the possibility MERS could spread to the rest of the region.
According to data provided by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), 20,600 tourists have cancelled holiday plans to the country as of June 5.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) also noted that flight bookings from Hong Kong to South Korea have plunged 102 percent this month, alongside an 83 percent fall in bookings from China and Taiwan over the same period from a year ago. Hong Kong issued a "red alert" advisory against non-essential travel to South Korea this week.
"The memory of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in the region had an effect hence people are being overly-cautious at the moment," PATA's vice chairman Andrew Jones told CNBC on Friday.