April 24, 2018 09:40
The number of foreign visitors to Korea in March jumped more than 10 percent on-year to 1.37 million tourists.
The Korea Tourism Organization said Monday the country saw a rise in the number of visitors for the first time after about a yearlong decline.
Soured relations between Seoul and Beijing last year over Korea's deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. led to a sharp decline in the number of Chinese tourists to Korea. Chinese accounted for nearly half of all foreign visitors to the country in 2016.
The KTO attributed the latest turnaround to improving bilateral ties between Seoul and Beijing, eased tensions on the Korean Peninsula recently, and the government's efforts to attract more visitors from countries other than China.
The number of visitors from China rose nearly 12 percent last month on-year to over 400,000. The number of visitors from Japan also rose for the first time in more than five years, reaching 294,000.
Visitors from Taiwan increased by more than 26 percent, and those from Hong Kong and Vietnam surged over 30 percent and 49 percent. Visitors from the U.S., Canada and Russia saw double-digit growth as well.
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