A business that focuses on humanitarian travel has been in decline since it launched its travel agency in 2012, and now it’s losing a large chunk of its clientele as people flee conflict zones and people get sick in the process.GTM travel agent Kijung Lee is looking to cut its travel business from 10,000 to 3,000 employees, the company said on Monday, citing a report from the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
The move comes as the company tries to recover from a recent surge in patient admissions.
Lee, who co-founded the company with his wife, is looking for a way to stay competitive in a market where most of its customers are foreigners.
The travel agency is part of a group of about 10,800 companies that operate in South Korea.
The government estimates about 1.7 million people are on its payroll.
The agency said it has lost about 1,500 full-time jobs over the past five years, including 3,600 in the past six months.
It expects that number to decline by about 1 percent to 3 percent.
It has been losing customers in the region as people are sick from the war in Syria and Iraq.
A spokeswoman for the government’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism told The Associated Press that the agency was “working hard” to make the business sustainable, but it was unable to provide further details on the cuts.
The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ministry said it was trying to find new revenue streams and was considering selling its share of the company.
Kijung said he expects to make a decision on the fate of his business by the end of March.
The government has also shut down the company’s mobile phone service, which it has used to help people find accommodation.
The company said it would use the revenue from the service to fund construction projects in the Korean Peninsula.
The AP reached out to Kijundae for comment on the travel agency’s announcement.
We are not aware of any plans to shut down Kijong Lee’s travel agency.
The Korean Travel Agency was founded in 2013 to help the country’s poor people, but the government has closed the company down, leaving it in limbo.