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Number of overseas tourists to Korea falls for 7th month in row

The number of international tourists visiting South Korea has fallen for the seventh month in a row, a governmental data showed Monday.

The Chinese ban on Korea-bound tour package sales and security concerns over North Korea’s provocations are considered the biggest reasons behind the continued fall in tourist visits.

The data released by Korea Tourism Organization showed that 1,078,653 visitors from overseas traveled to Korea in September, which is 29.2 percent lower than the figure from the same period last year.

The decrease in the total number of visitors is largely driven by a 56.1 percent fall in the number of Chinese travelers last month compared with the same period last year. The number of Chinse tourists stood at 318,682 last month, accounting for roughly one-third of total overseas tourists during the cited period.

The number of Chinese tourists in Korea has seen a sharp decrease since March this year when Beijing ordered its travel agencies to stop selling Korea-bound tour packages.

The number of tourists from the Philippines, Indonesia and India also went down last month by 37 percent, 33.6 percent and 53.7 percent, respectively, possibly due to the heightened security concerns following recent provocations from North Korea, according to the KTO.

Tourists from Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan saw a slight increase of 5.4 percent, 6.7 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, from same period last year.

A group of tourists at Incheon airport. (Yonhap)
A group of tourists at Incheon airport. (Yonhap)