Some passengers might have thought there was a strike by cleaners at the Jeju International Airport, the gateway to South Korea’s largest island and a popular tourist resort.
Plastic bags and other rubbish littered the gates for international flights on the third floor of the terminal, The Korea Times reports, citing a report by local newspaper Jemin Ilbo.
The culprits, it turns out, are Chinese tourists who remove the wrappings of duty-free goods to reduce the size and weight of their luggage before boarding.
That’s because when they purchase duty-free goods outside the airport, tourists have to pick them up from a designated area at the departure gate.
The problem is that the passengers, mostly from Chinese tour groups, leave all their rubbish on the floor, creating a huge eyesore.
Airport staff have asked tourists to use dumpsters, and even gave them garbage bags.
The company managing the airport has also increased the number of cleaners at the gate to three, instead of the usual two.
“We will keep reinforcing the sanitation team at the gates for international flights,” an airport official told The Korea Times.
The situation has gradually improved, though, after airport staff make it a point to remind departing tourists to throw their rubbish at designated areas near the gate.
If the gentle reminders still don’t work, the airport management is considering imposing stiff fines on violators, the report said.
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