7 million tourists so far in ’09, an all-time highThe number of foreign tourists coming to Korea has topped 7 million so far this year, an all-time high, the state tourism agency announced yesterday.
The figure was up 14 percent from 6.13 million a year ago, the Korea Tourism Organization said. It was the first time that the number of visitors from other countries had ever exceeded the 7 million mark, the agency added.
The increase in the number of foreign tourists seemed to stem from the combination of growing crowds of visitors from Japan and China and an aggressive overseas marketing strategy, the KTO said.
An estimated 3.5 million foreign tourists traveled to Korea in 1994, and more than 6 million visited the country in 2005.
About 2.75 million Japanese tourists have visited Korea so far this year, making up 39.4 percent of the total, followed by Chinese tourists with 17.3 percent and American tourists with 7.9 percent.
The KTO also predicted that it could help attract up to 7.8 million tourists to South Korea this year, which would surpass its target of 7.5 million travelers set at the beginning of the year.
The tourism agency is hoping to attract about 10 million foreign tourists to the country annually by 2012.