Korea lures record foreign tourists in first half
Korea attracted a record number of foreign tourists in the first half of this year, fueled by a surge in visitors from Japan and China, the country's state-run tourism promotion agency said Wednesday.
The Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO) reported an estimated 5.33 million foreigners visited the country in the six-month period, up 23.3 percent from a year earlier.
By nationality, Japanese tourists accounted for 1.81 million of the visitors with Chinese travelers totaling 1.19 million. The numbers represent a 30.2 percent and 29.9 percent increase from the January-June period of 2011.
Japanese and Chinese nationals made up 56 percent of all tourists to the country.
"At the present pace, foreign tourist numbers for this year should reach the KNTO target of 11 million," an agency official said. That total includes 150,000 expected to visit the country this year to receive medical treatment. (Yonhap)