10 million tourists visit South Korea in the first ten months of 2013

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Do you think more tourists are coming to South Korea as a result of the 2018 Winter Olympics being held in Pyeongchang? South Korea has been visited by more than 10 million tourists through October 2013 according to the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute, one month earlier than in 2012.

PyeongChang is readying to host the first Korean Winter Games in 2018 adding to the tourism boost.

The 10.34 million tourists from January to November 2013 is a 9.3 percent increase from the same period last year.

By the end of 2012, South Korea was visited by 11.14 million tourists. Thirty-six-and-a-half percent of visitors this year – about 3.77 million people – have come from nearby China.

Japanese tourists totaled 2.31 million for a 22.3-percent share, a decrease of 24 percent from last year. The Japanese yen’s depreciation compared to the South Korean won is one reason for the drop.

The overall target for foreign tourists was set to 12.5 million by the Korea Tourism Organisation, a 13 percent increase from the year previous. The new Chinese travel law may hinder the KTO reaching its goal, however.

The law enforced has banned travel agencies from selling low-cost overseas shopping tours.

The travel agencies had previously compounded low-cost travel programmes with visits to retail stores in South Korea, which paid the agencies money on tours.

As far as South Koreans touring the rest of the world, it is estimated 12.48 South Koreans – an increase of 9.1 percent – traveled overseas.

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