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Tourist arrivals in S. Korea double in past decade, led by young, female Asians

All Headlines 10:50 August 22, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) -- Women and those in their 20s and 30s from China, Japan and Taiwan have caused the number of foreign tourists visiting South Korea to jump twofold over the past decade, a study showed Thursday.

Tourist arrivals in the country have increased by 96 percent from 7.82 million in 2009 to 15.35 million in 2018, according to the state-run Korea Culture and Tourism Institute.

Chinese accounted for 31.2 percent of the total visitors last year with 4.79 million. Those from Japan came in second with 19.2 percent, or 2.95 million, followed by Taiwan with 7.3 percent, or 1.12 million, the United States with 6.3 percent, or 970,000, and Hong Kong with 4.5 percent, or 680,000.

In 2009, Japan topped the list, followed by China, the U.S., Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

The growth has been led largely by women and young people, who have been apparently attracted by South Korea's entertainment and beauty industries.

During the same period, the proportion of women has increased from 47 percent to 59 percent among Chinese visitors, from 57 percent to 63 percent among Japanese and from 60 percent to 67 percent among Taiwanese.

Among Chinese visitors, those in their 20s and 30s made up 57 percent in 2018, compared with 43 percent in 2009. The age group took the lion's share among Japanese and Taiwanese tourists too.

This undated file photo shows foreign tourists wearing traditional Korean clothes visiting a royal palace in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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