- 14 Mar 2002
Ouch, that must be a hard blow to South Korean beauty parlours.
The number of Japanese tourists visiting South Korea plunged recently because of tension on the peninsula resulting from the North Korean nuclear issue, business sources said on Friday. The number of Japanese tourists booking tour programs in South Korea at 20 local travel agencies over a seven-day period from March 4-10 dropped 27 percent to 17,800 from 24,600 in the same period last year. The total number of Japanese visitors also dipped. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said the number of Japanese tourists visiting the country in January rose a mere 0.1 percent year-on-year to 155,546. This figure contrasts sharply with the fourth quarter of 2002's year-on-year increase rate, which jumped by as much as 34.4 percent over a year ago. Meanwhile, Japan's leading travel agency, JTB, said 168.5 million Japanese tourists are expected to travel abroad this year, an on-year increase of 3.1 percent. "The number of visitors from Japan will decrease if the North Korean nuclear issue isn't settled," a ministry official said.