December 27, 2012 12:29
The number of cruise ships sailing to Korea is jumping as Chinese tourists continue to flood to the country, drawn in part by the renascent Korean Wave sweeping Asia.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said on Wednesday that 24 cruise ships run by 17 companies will make a total of 379 calls at major port cities in the country such as Busan and Jeju in 2013.
This marks a 56 percent increase from 212 stops this year, when 170,000 tourists visited Korea on cruise ships. Many come directly from the Chinese port cities of Tianjin and Shanghai.
Jeju Island is the most popular stop with 13 cruisers making a total of 80 calls there this year and that is likely to rise to 191 in 2013 as one extra cruiser is set to join the list.
Meanwhile, as Incheon city government recently signed a deal with a Chinese cruise company, the number of calls by cruise ships there is expected to rise five-fold from eight to 44 next year.
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