SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- About 800 medical and wellness tourists will visit South Korea in groups from this month to September, a government tourism promotional agency said Wednesday, calling it a sign of recovery for the local tourism industry that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first group of about 150 Mongolian tourists arrived at Jeju International Airport in the southern resort island of Jeju on Wednesday morning. During their five-day stay, they will have medical checkups at three hospitals on the island and visit various tourist destinations, according to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).
It marked the first visit by a large group of medical and wellness tourists since the pandemic began in early 2020.
Five more groups with about 140 members each are set to fly from Mongolia until September.
In July, about 100 group tourists from Kazakhstan will arrive at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, to receive medical checkups and visit dermatology, plastic surgery and orthopedic clinics, as well as various wellness tourism spots in the country.
"The entry of large groups of tourists is a sign of recovery for the local tourism industry," a KTO official said, partly attributing the return of group medical and wellness tourists to the agency's promotional campaign.