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Foreign visitors increase over 14 pct in September: data

15:30 October 22, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- The number of foreign tourists visiting South Korea in September rose over 14 percent from a year ago to reach about 1.46 million, official data showed Tuesday.

According to the data released by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), 1,459,664 foreigners visited South Korea last month, marking a growth of 14.2 percent from the same month last year.

By country, 541,350 Chinese arrived here in September, followed by 251,119 from Japan, 102,758 from Taiwan, 90,819 from the United States and 45,911 from Hong Kong, the data showed.

This file photo taken on Sept. 2, 2019, shows Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo (3rd from L) welcoming Vietnamese tourists at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Arrivals from China rose 24.6 percent on-year due to an increase in group incentive tours, KTO officials said.

Visitors from Japan increased 1.3 percent on-year in September, but the growth rate noticeably slowed due to the aftereffects of strained diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo over historical issues and bilateral trade conflict.

Visitors from other Asian countries and the Middle East went up 9.2 percent last month. Increased cruise ship visits and flight services led to a spike in the number of Taiwanese visitors. By contrast, visitors from Hong Kong fell 7.5 percent due to its political instability and consumption slump.

Meanwhile, the number of South Korean overseas travelers declined 7.9 percent on-year to 2.05 million last month, the KTO data showed.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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