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Over 100,000 Chinese tourists to visit Korea next week

About 100,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit South Korea next week for their national holiday, a state-run body said Thursday.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, they are anticipated to travel to Korea during the long holiday from April 30 to May 4. This is about a 20 percent increase compared to the same period last year, it said.

The number of Chinese tourists has been growing steadily this year. In March, more than 500,000 Chinese came to Seoul, a 22 percent increase from the same month last year.

The KTO forecast that the total number of Chinese visitors will likely reach a record high at the end of the year to about 7.8 million, showing a nearly 30 percent rise.

The number of Japanese tourists to Korea, however, is forecast to drop 10.6 percent on-year to 73,000, due to a record-low value of Japanese yen against the South Korean won. Japanese are also set to spend the Golden Week holiday here from April 25 to May 6.

As part of the efforts to offer better travel experiences, the KTO and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plan to launch various events for the visitors.

The tourism office will hold welcoming events at three local airports and offer discount vouchers at a number of tourist locations, officials said.

Authorities also plan to tighten monitoring over illegal overcharging at tourist spots, taxis and restaurants, they added.

“(The KTO) will put efforts into raising the revisit rate of Chinese visitors by improving the tourist conditions,” a KTO official said.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (