SEOUL, South Korea -- The bombing at Kimpo International Airport appears to have scared away many foreigners who planned to attend the 10th Asian Games, hotel officials said Saturday.
Tourism officials estimated 160,000 people would visit South Korea during the sports festival, which began Saturday and will last until Oct. 5.
Hotels, however, reported that only about 94,000 foreigners have checked in and that many people cancelled reservations after the airport bombing..
Five people were killed and 31 injured in the bombing last Sunday. All of them were Koreans.
South Korean authorities suspect that the incident was planned by North Korea, which is boycotting the Asian Games.
The shortfall in room occupancy threatens to deal a financial blow to the hotels and 294 inns in Seoul and its suburbs, who were told by the government to reserve rooms exclusively for foreigners during the 16-day Asian Games.
At the government's urging, the hotels and inns also borrowed a total of $3 million to improve their facilities to better accomodate foreigners. They were counting on a flood of Games visitors would help repay the loans quickly.