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Tourist arrivals in S. Korea dip sharply in May

All News 08:33 July 06, 2020

SEOUL, July 6 (Yonhap) -- Tourist arrivals in South Korea nose-dived 99.5 percent in May due to global travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Monday.

The data from the state-run Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) showed a mere 6,111 foreign tourists visited South Korea in May, compared with over 1.23 million a year earlier.

The figure was up slightly from 5,135 in April but was down sharply from about 31,500 in March, nearly 504,000 in February and 1.03 million in January.

In particular, it was less than half the 12,864 crew members of flights and ships, who arrived in the country in May.

The KTO tally also showed the number of foreign arrivals in South Korea totaled 30,861 in May, down roughly 98 percent from a year earlier.

This undated file photo shows a relatively empty Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

U.S. tourists to South Korea were the largest number at 2,996 in May, followed by those from the Philippines with 725 and Indonesian visitors with 581.

Tourists from China plunged to only 178 in May from 410,000 a year earlier, with those from Japan tumbling to 45 from 280,000.

The tourism promotion painted a gloomy outlook for the number of tourist arrivals in South Korea down the road, citing the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the United States and other countries despite the reopening of some economies and eased travel restrictions.

South Korea requires all arrivals to self-quarantine for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The new coronavirus has infected some 11.3 million people across the globe since December, with the death toll reaching about 523,000.

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