Japanese tourist Teruko Takenaka received a surprise bouquet of flowers and a commemorative plaque on Thursday when she arrived at Incheon International Airport to find herself the 9 millionth foreign visitor to Korea this year.
The gifts were handed out by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, and Visit Korea Committee and Korea Association of Travel Agents as they celebrated reaching the milestone.
Due to the massive earthquake and radiation leak in Japan earlier this year, the number of visitors from China and Japan to the country dropped off for several months. But interest has gradually picked back up since June.
The Tourism Ministry and other related organizations aim to draw over 10 million foreign visitors by the end of 2011.