Foreign tourist arrivals in S. Korea plunge 41% on-year in June in wake of MERS outbreak: KTO

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : July 21, 2015, 16:24 | Updated : July 21, 2015, 17:12


Foreign tourist arrivals in South Korea plunged more than 40 percent in June from a year earlier, in the wake of the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), data showed Tuesday.

The number of foreign arrivals, mostly Chinese tourists, in the country totaled 750,925 in June, down 41 percent from 1,273,627 tallied during the same month of last year, according to the data compiled by the state-run Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).

It marks the first on-year decline in 25 months.

By nationality, Taiwanese represented the sharpest drop with minus 75.7 percent, compared with minus 74.6 percent for Hong Kong, minus 62.3 percent for Singapore, minus 45.1 percent for China, minus 43.0 percent for Thailand, minus 41.5 percent for Japan, minus 31.2 percent for the Philippines and minus 16.5 percent for the United States.

In the first six months of this year, foreign arrivals totaled 6,675,608 in number, up 0.8 percent from the corresponding period last year, the data said.

The spread of the MERS corona virus in the nation has showed signs of abating in recent weeks as the government reported no new case of infection with the viral respiratory disease for 16 straight days on Tuesday. 

The number of people diagnosed with MERS remained unchanged at 186, with the death toll also staying flat at 36, the health ministry said. As a result, the fatality rate stood at 19.4 percent.

The government confirmed the first outbreak of MERS in the country on May 20.
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