Visitors from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong topped tourist numbers to Korea last year, surpassing Japanese tourists for the first time, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports officials said Tuesday.
The number of Chinese visitors rose 27.8 percent to 3.75 million in 2012 from the previous year, while the number of Japanese visitors grew just 7 percent to 2.84 million in the same period due to the weak yen.
Chinese visitors took 33.6 percent of the nation’s inbound tourism market, followed by Japanese visitors with a 31.6 percent market share.
Despite the protracted global economic downturn, the share of Chinese visitors in local inbound tourism has continued to rise since 2009, surpassing 30 percent for the first time last year.
By Seo Jee-yeon (firstname.lastname@example.org