Record Numbers Travel Overseas in January

Record numbers of Koreans traveled overseas due to the stronger won in January. Hana Tour, the nation's largest travel agency, on Sunday said 185,000 people booked overseas travel with the company last month, up 30.7 percent on-year and the most in the firm's history.

The previous record was 159,000 in August last year.

The most popular destination was Southeast Asia with 48.5 percent, followed by China (20.4 percent), Japan (18.5 percent), the South Pacific (5.3 percent), Europe (5.2 percent), and the Americas (2.1 percent).

Mode Tour, the No. 2 travel agency, also saw a record number of outbound travelers at 103,000 in January.

The industry cites the strong won as the reason for the spike. The won strengthened to less than W1,100 to the dollar in recent months.

But a Hana Tour staffer said the unusually cold weather this winter also played a big role. Hana Tour saw a 50.3 percent on-year rise in the number of tourists to balmy Southeast Asia last month.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 04, 2013 13:05 KST