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Chinese firms encourage 100,000 tourists to visit S. Korea

Two Chinese companies have launched a joint promotional campaign that aims to entice some 100,000 Chinese tourists to visit South Korea within 100 days, a state-run newspaper reported Saturday, joining efforts by South Korea to revive its tourism industry hit by an outbreak of MERS.

The campaign was launched on Friday by Wanda Tourism, an affiliate of Chinese property conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, and Tongcheng Network Technology Co., an online travel agency, the China Daily reported. The campaign "will see about 100,000 tourists from China making trips to South Korea within 100 days, starting mid-August," the report said.

Xu Daoming, deputy general manager of Wanda Tourism, told the newspaper that they "expect the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea to recover and reach earlier levels in August."

South Korea's tourism industry has been reeling from the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, with many foreign tourists canceling planned trips to the country.

Since the first case of the virus was reported in South Korea on May 20, 186 people have been infected, 36 of whom have died. No additional cases of the virus have been reported since July 4.

In June alone, the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea plunged 45.1 percent on-year to 315,095 people, according to official figures. (Yonhap)