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Moon eyes 20 mln foreign visitors in S. Korea in 2020

Art/Culture 14:53 December 26, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 26 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that South Korea aims to draw more than 20 million foreign visitors in 2020, emboldened by the record number of inbound tourists this year.

Earlier in the day, South Korea greeted the 17.25 millionth foreign visitor of the year. It surpassed the previous annual record of 17.24 million set in 2016.

In his Facebook message, Moon also took note of the nationality of the visitor, Indonesian, saying relations between the Southeast Asian country and South Korea have gotten closer under his administration's New Southern Policy.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo (6th from L) celebrates the arrival of this year's 17.25 millionth foreign visitor to South Korea, Eko Prasetio (5th from L), and his family at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Dec. 26, 2019, in this photo provided by Park's ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Moon also pointed out that the number of Chinese tourists has increased 26 percent in 2019 from a year earlier.

Traveling to China on Monday and Tuesday, Moon had back-to-back talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Moon stressed the importance of people-to-people exchanges in bilateral relations hurt by disputes over the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, THAAD, in South Korea.

Of late, Beijing has shown signs of easing restrictions on trips by its people to South Korea.

Moon said South Korea will open "an era of 20 million foreign tourists in 2020."

lcd@yna.co.kr
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