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South Korea expects more Chinese holidaymakers

Updated: 2010-02-11 16:08
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SEOUL: South Korea expects to see an incremental increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country over the Lunar New Year holiday this year, the State-run tourism agency said Thursday.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), approximately 38,000 Chinese tourists are expected to make a visit to South Korea during the holiday, from February 13 to 19, a 20 percent gain from the same period of last year.

It added the Chinese visitors are forecast to spend about 250 million yuan ($36.6 million) in shopping during the holiday, boosting the country's domestic shopping sales industry.

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However, the KTO noted due to an increase in the number of South Koreans traveling overseas, most international flight tickets are nearly sold out, hindering its efforts to draw more Chinese tourists to the country.

The Chinese tourism industry has seen exponential growth lately as this year's total Chinese tourists abroad are estimated to surpass 54 million with a spending of $48 billion, the KTO said, adding they forecast to see 1.6 million Chinese visiting South Korea.