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Korea tourism numbers cross 11 million in 2012 as Gangnam wave still to come

Excerpt from TravelDailyNews

Jan 02, 2013 4:24 am

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Even as Korea prepares for possible Gangnam-influenced tourism wave, Chinese and Japanese tourists are already buffeting up that total number.

— Rafat Ali

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In Korea, total foreign arrivals are likely to surpass 11.1 million in 2012, the culture ministry said Monday, due mainly to Chinese and Japanese tourists. The figure represents a 13.4 percent increase from 2011. Still, it falls a bit short of South Korea’s initial goal of attracting 11.3 million foreign tourists this year. It was the first time that the number of foreign tourists topped 10 million in a year.

The total number of Chinese tourists is expected to reach 2.83 million in 2012, up 24.7 percent, while Japanese tourists are expected to increase 6.7 percent on-year to 3.51 million.

Foreign tourists’ spending in South Korea increased 13.7 percent in 2012 to US$14.1 billion, though South Korea could post a trade deficit in tourism as outbound visitors outnumbered inbound ones.

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