South Korea welcomed its 10 millionth visitor on November 21, topping the tourism record for the country.
The number was a mere 1 million in 1987, growing steadily until reaching 9.79 million in 2011 and 10 million on November 21, 2012. The attraction of “Korean Wave” known as “hallyu”, medical tourism, and the simplification of the visa process are seen as major contributors to the tourism boom. The enhanced image of the country, hosting many international events including the Yeosu Expo, G20 Summit and the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit have also combined to draw more travelers from abroad.
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Meanwhile, the 10 millionth visitor Li Tingting, and her mother Ye Shufang from China, received a commemorative plaque, souvenirs, and free travel vouchers prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST), Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Korea’s two major airlines – Asiana Airlines and Korean Air.
Surpassing the 10 millionth-mark in foreign travelers is a major landmark occasion for Korea and an even brighter future awaits Korea’s tourism industry.