UPDATE : 2019.7.19 FRI 15:18
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Number of foreign visitors to S. Korea falls 23.5 pct

The number of foreigners visiting South Korea declined 23.5 percent to 9.94 million in the January-September period compared to a year earlier, a report by the central bank showed Sunday.

Visits by Chinese nationals plunged over 60 percent on-year, as China restricted tour programs amid a diplomatic row over the deployment of a US. missile defense system in the country, according to the Bank of Korea.

In March, Beijing imposed a ban on tour packages to South Korea, which was lifted only recently.

Foreign tourists spent US$8.8 billion over the January-August period, down 23.6 percent from the previous year.

Japan, in contrast, saw the number of its foreign visitors increase 18 percent to 21.2 million in the January-September period, largely due to the weaker Japanese yen.

Japan also expanded the number of cruises and trips by budget carriers to attract more visitors, the bank added.

Hwi Won  edt@koreapost.com

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