As the situation over the coronavirus outbreak shows signs of stabilization in South Korea and with the government easing quarantine rules, outdoor activities that minimize contact with others are gaining popularity. The pandemic could have a lasting impact on consumer behavior, as evident with travelers opting to sleep in cars instead of hotels.
WeMakePrice, a social commerce platform, said that sales of in-vehicle camping gear, specifically sleeping pads that help travelers sleep in their cars, sharply rose to 636 percent in April, compared to the same period last year.
The local open market operator also said that sales of docking tents also jumped 608 percent last month, compared to the same period a year before. These dome-to-go tents wrap around the rear area of vehicles expanding the available sleeping space.
Along the same line, sales of tents used in camping cars increased by 133 percent. Meanwhile, sales of tables and refrigerators dedicated to outdoor activities rose 67 percent and 90 percent, respectively.
South Korea witnessed the worst of its coronavirus epidemic starting late February and lasting in early March. However, in recent weeks, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded around ten or fewer new infections per day.
While outdoor activities with limited contact are on the rise, many South Koreans are still choosing to stay at home and maintain social distancing practices. This resulted in the growing popularity of home appliances such as air purifiers, water purifiers, massage chairs, and automatic dishwashers during the pandemic.
As of Friday, the KCDC recorded 10,822 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, with 9,484 recoveries and 256 deaths. However, the South Korean government is on alert over another possible cluster infection originating from clubs located in the Itaewon district.
Health authorities on Friday reported an additional 13 confirmed cases linked to an infected patient visiting three clubs in the popular multicultural neighborhood.
South Korea’s Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said that there is a high likelihood of emerging cases in the coming days. He urged people who visited in early Saturday the clubs located in Itaewon to isolate themselves at home and contact authorities if they develop symptoms of the coronavirus.