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S. Koreans' overseas travel spending hits 30-month high in Jan.

   South Koreans' spending on overseas travel rose by the most in 30 months in January as the local economy recovered and the local currency ascended to the U.S. dollar, central bank data showed Sunday.

   South Koreans' expenditure on overseas travel reached US$2 billion in January, up 29.2 percent from a year earlier and marking the highest level since the $2.24 billion recorded in July 2008, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

   Koreans' spending on overseas travel recovered to the pre-crisis level as the economic recovery provided people room for spending and the local currency rose to the U.S. dollar.

   Local residents' spending on overseas trips nose-dived to $775 million in November 2008 when the country was in the middle of the global financial turmoil, but they have been on an overall upward trend since the economy began to pull out of its worst downturn in decades.

   The South Korean economy grew 6.1 percent in 2010, the fastest expansion in eight years, aided by strong exports and revival of domestic demand.

   The local currency rose an average of 2.39 percent to the dollar in January, compared with the previous month. (Yonhap News)

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