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South Korea tourist numbers plummet after Beijing boycott

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

SEOUL: Chinese tourist numbers to South Korea plunged by two-thirds in April after Beijing banned tour groups over Seoul’s deployment of a US missile defence system, official statistics showed. Beijing imposed a boycott from 15 March on Chinese tour groups visiting the South in a spat over the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system.

Washington and Seoul say it is purely to defend against threats from nuclear-armed North Korea, but Beijing fears that it could undermine its own nuclear deterrent and has reacted with fury, imposing a series of measures seen as economic retaliation.

April was the first full month of the ban and saw 227,811 Chinese tourists visiting South Korea, down 66.6% from 682,318 tourists a year earlier, according to the state-run Korea Tourism Organi­sation (KTO). Total visitor numbers were down 27.2% from last year to 1.07 million, KTO said, blaming a “huge decline in Chinese visitors due to China’s ban on tours to South Korea”.

South Korea has been struggling to fill the gap with promotional campaigns to attract more visitors from other countries, mainly from Japan and South-East Asia.

Source by: Internet

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