Foreign tourist arrivals in South Korea reached 89 percent of pre- pandemic levels

By TIN Media | International Published 1 month ago on 17 June 2024
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SOUTH KOREA:
In the first four months of this year, international visitor numbers to South Korea recovered to about 89% of pre-pandemic levels, with arrivals from certain nations surpassing previous levels, notably the US and Taiwan, the state-run tourist promotion agency reported on Thursday.
According to the Korea Tourism Organization, South Korea received 4.866 million foreign visitors between January and April, up 86.9% from the same time last year and returning to pre- COVID-19 levels by 88.8%, as reported by Yonhap News Agency.
 
Remarkably, pre-pandemic tourist numbers in Taiwan and the US have increased by 7.5% and 19.5%, respectively.
 
Additionally, the percentage of visitors from Indonesia and Singapore increased to 110.4% and 157.4% of pre-pandemic levels.
 
Recovering to just 78.1% and 82.5% of pre-pandemic figures, respectively, the tourist arrival rebound from China and Japan, the top two nations in South Korea's inbound tourism rankings, is still comparatively modest.
 
But with more foreign travel routes opening up and more flights planned for the second half of the year, these figures should increase.
 
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the yearly number of arrivals fell precipitously from 17.5 million in 2019 to 2.52 million in 2020 and then to 970,000 in 2021. Arrivals, however, started to increase in 2022 when South Korea decided to loosen most of the COVID-19 limitations; they hit 3.2 million that year and surpassed 10 million in 2023.
 
The global appeal of Korean pop culture is continuing to spur interest in travel to South Korea, and as a result, the Seoul government has set an ambitious goal of bringing in 20 million international visitors this year.
 
Although it is recognized as a difficult target, the tourism industry believes the goal might be accomplished if the current rebound trend picks up momentum

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