The figure represents a 16 percent increase from a year ago, the highest growth rate in a decade, according to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).
By nationality, Chinese accounted for 40.8 percent or 5.71 million of the total foreign arrivals in the Jan. 1-Dec. 17 period, followed by Japanese (15.1 percent or 2.11 million) and Americans (5.1 percent or 720,000). Chinese arrivals jumped 40.9 percent from the same period of last year.
If the current upward trend continues, the nation's tourism revenue is expected to reach US$17.6 billion this year, up 21.4 percent or $3.1 billion from $14.5 billion tallied last year, the report said.
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