Foreign Visitors to Hit Record Low


    January 05, 2022 10:49

    Korea is on track to see fewer than 1 million annual foreign travelers to the country due to the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.

    The Korea Tourism Organization said Tuesday that 877,000 foreign travelers visited in the first 11 months of last year, down 64.3 percent on-year.

    Given that November saw 94,000 foreign visitors, the number is unlikely to exceed 100,000 for December, when more countries closed their borders amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. That means the total number for the whole of last year will likely fall below 1 million.

    This will be an all-time low since records began in 1984, when 1.3 million foreigners visited Korea.

    Incheon International Airport is deserted on Tuesday. /Yonhap

    By country, Chinese travelers, who formed the largest visitor group before the pandemic, numbered 159,000 during the period, down 76.6 percent. The number of Japanese visitors plunged 96.7 percent to 14,000, Taiwanese 97.7 percent to 3,800, Thais 90.1 percent to 7,500 and Vietnamese 76.1 percent to 19,000.

    Meanwhile, 1.08 million Koreans traveled overseas in January-November last year, down 74.2 percent from a year earlier.

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