American inbound tourists surpass pre-pandemic record-high

Foreign visitors wearing Korean traditional costume, 'hanbok,'  tour around Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

Korea has received more inbound tourists from the United States, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore during the first four months of 2024, compared to the pre-pandemic record-high from 2019, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) data showed Thursday.

Korea saw some 4.6 million inbound tourists between January and April this year, according to the KTO.

The figure is an 86.9 percent recovery from the same period last year and an 88.8 percent recovery from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Taiwan, the third-most-visiting country to Korea, sent some 423,477 visitors here as of the end of April this year. The figure is 7.5 percent more than the same period in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S., the fourth-most-visiting country, received 367,700 visitors between January and April this year, 19.5 percent more than the 2019 pre-pandemic record high of 307,268 during the same period.

Also, Indonesia and Singapore sent 68,795 and 100,648 visitors each, which are both some 10 percent more than the figures from the year before and showed a complete recovery from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the numbers of visitors from neighboring China and Japan have yet to fully recover and stand at 78.1 percent and 82.5 percent, respectively, of their record highs from 2019.

However, the figures are recovering rapidly. Korea received some 1.42 million visitors from China and over 895,000 tourists from Japan, which are 470.1 percent and 85.7 percent jumps compared to the year before.

The recovery of visitor numbers from the two countries is expected to continue and soon surpass the pre-pandemic record highs once more international travel routes become available during the summer holiday season and later in the second half of the year.

In March, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced the summertime air travel schedules set between March 31 and 카지노 Oct. 26. According to the plan, a total of 4,528 round trips per week will become available on 231 international routes.

That is a 98 percent recovery from the pre-pandemic average of 4,619 round trips per week from 2019. It is also 520 more trips than last year’s summertime schedule and 228 more than the previous wintertime schedule.

The visa-free southernmost resort island of Jeju has already seen the number of visitors surpass pre-pandemic levels.

During the first four months of this year, over 382,000 foreign nationals entered Jeju Island via air and sea travel. The figure is a 405.6 percent jump from the same period last year and 6.7 percent more than 2019’s figure.

In celebration of the Visit Korea Year 2023-2024 and leveraging the growing popularity of Korean culture and content worldwide, the Korean government aims to attract 20 million foreign visitors annually. The goal is greater than the pre-pandemic record high from 2019, which was 17.5 million.

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