SE Asia gets high number of tourists from KoreaKorea ranked third in the number of outside visitors to Southeast Asian countries in 2011, tourism data showed yesterday, proving its clout in the region’s tourism sector. Korean visitors to the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations totaled 3,862,009 last year, accounting for 4.7 percent of the total, data obtained from the Seoul-based Asean-Korea Center said. Korea ranked behind only China and Australia, which sent 7.32 million and 3.93 million visitors, respectively, to Asean countries in the same year, according to the data.
Thanks to a 17.5 percent increase in the number of Korean tourists to the Asean region, Japan fell to fourth place with 3.66 million.
“Asean countries are increasingly showing interest in the provision of better services for Korean tourists, including the education of more Korean language tour guides,” said an official at the Asean-Korea Center.
By country, Korea was the No. 1 sender of tourists to the Philippines with 925,204 visitors last year, or 23.6 percent of the total, the data found, with the Philippine government predicting the number of Korean visitors topped one million this year. The Philippines aims to raise the figure to close to two million by 2015.
The number of Korean tourists traveling to Cambodia was 342,810, only trailing its closest neighbor Vietnam. Excluding Southeast Asian visitors, Koreans accounted for the largest 11.9 percent of external travelers to Cambodia.