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S. Korea to attract 2 mln cruise tourists in 2017

All Headlines 11:00 March 07, 2016

SEJONG, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to attract more than 2 million foreign cruise tourists next year by hosting the world's leading cruise ships and expanding local ports in a bid to become a favored region for cruise tourists from around the world, the maritime ministry said Monday.

Some 1.5 million cruise tourists are expected to flock to the country's shores throughout this year, with 908 ships to land at the South Korean ports of Jeju, Busan and Incheon, up from 409 a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

For 2016, the ministry will strengthen its overseas marketing to convince more cruise visitors to visit South Korea and invite more cruise liners to enter the country to raise the target number to 2 million.

It will build four new cruise docks in Jeju Island, Incheon and Sokcho by 2017 to increase the country's capacity for massive ocean liners.

"The Seoul government will step up its move to promote the cruise industry by launching South Korean cruise liners and upgrading the infrastructure," the ministry said in a release.

Quantum of the Seas, a 167,000-ton cruise ship for Royal Caribbean International, will travel to South Korea from Shanghai, China, 44 times this year with a full capacity of 6,100.

The cruise industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Asia, with the number of people embarking on a cruise ship tour, especially from China, expected to reach over 2.3 million in 2016 and 2.8 million in 2017, the ministry said.

The number of foreign tourists arriving in South Korea on cruise ships topped 1 million last year and is expected to reach 3 million in 2020.

brk@yna.co.kr
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