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Outbound travelers hit record high in Feb.

All News 10:13 March 04, 2016

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- A growing number of South Koreans opted to travel abroad in February thanks to cheap airfares and extended New Year's holidays despite the lackluster domestic economy, industry data showed Friday.

Hana Tour Co., the nation's leading tour agency, said 260,000 used their international travel package last month, up 27.7 percent from a year ago. The figure surpassed the record monthly high in January.

Japan was the most popular destination attracting 37.6 percent of travelers, followed by Southeast Asia with 36 percent and China with 14.8 percent.

Hana Tour said the extended Lunar New Year's holiday boosted overseas travel.

Mode Tour Network Inc., No. 2 tour operator, said 120,000 traveled abroad using its programs last month, which surged 15 percent a year earlier.

Travelers to Southeast Asian nations accounted for 43 percent, trailed by Japan with 27.5 percent and China with 17.8 percent, it said.

The outbound travel market has enjoyed a boom since last year as more Koreans traveled abroad to take advantage of extended holidays and cheaper tickets offered by low-cost carriers.

The total number of outbound travelers rose 20.1 percent to 19.31 million in 2015, and the figure reached a monthly high in January, according to the state-run Korea Tourism Organization. Official figures for February have not been released.


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