Last year marked the first time Chinese visitors outnumbered Japanese visitors. Justice Ministry officials cited the improved visa review process and a weaker Japanese yen as possible reasons.
Over 82 percent of foreigners arriving in Korea said they came for tourism while 4.5 percent made job-related visits. About 2.6 percent identified themselves as foreigners of Korean descent.
To accommodate the increasing number of visitors, officials vowed to further simplify visa application procedures.