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S. Korea's deficit in travel balance widens in May: BOK

All Headlines 11:36 July 08, 2017

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's deficit in the tourism balance widened to hit a record high in May due to a sharp drop in foreign visitors, central bank data showed Saturday.

The tourism balance of payment, referring to the net travel expenditure that South Koreans used on short-term overseas tours, reached a record US$1.18 billion in May, according to the data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It has remained in the red since December 2014 and touched an earlier record of $1.13 billion in July 2015, when South Korea was hit hard by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a deadly virus that killed 38 South Koreans.

The BOK attributed the record-breaking travel deficit to a rise in overseas trips and a sharp decline in arrivals of foreign tourists.

The number of outbound tourists jumped 21 percent on-year to more than 2 million in May, while foreign visitors to South Korea fell 34.5 percent to 978,000.

In particular, the number of Chinese tourists tumbled 64.1 percent on-year to 705,000 as the Beijing government imposed a travel ban in retaliation for Seoul's plan to deploy a U.S.-led missile system, called THAAD.

S. Korea's deficit in travel balance widens in May: BOK - 1

brk@yna.co.kr
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