The number of locals and foreigners going in and out of South Korea rose 9.2 percent on-year in 2013, the Ministry of Justice said Wednesday.
The tally came to some 54.96 million, with the number of locals reaching 33.49 million and that of foreigners coming in at 24.61 million, the ministry said.
Some 3.92 million Chinese visited South Korea last year, a 44 percent jump from a year earlier, the ministry added.
The ministry attributed the sharp increase to streamlined procedures in issuing visas to Chinese nationals, as well as visa-free entry programs for Chinese passengers of cruise ships and transfer travelers.
The surge is also on the back of government efforts to issue not only tourist visas but also working visas to Chinese nationals, the ministry said.
The number of Japanese visitors, meanwhile, tumbled 22.4 percent to some 2.71 million last year, due mainly to a weaker Japanese yen, the ministry said.
The ministry also said a total of 1.57 million foreigners resided in the country last year, accounting for 3.08 percent of the nation's total population. (Yonhap News)