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Cruising tourists to Korea topped 1m people
Friday, November 14, 2014, 09:17:51 Paul Yoon ckyoon7@paran.com
The number of cruising tourists that visited Korea this year hit over 1m people for the first time. Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) disclosed on Nov.12 that cruising tourists visiting Korea this year recorded over 1m people. The one millionth cruising tourist to Korea turned out to be Sarah Su, a woman of US nationality aged 66 who entered Busan cruising passenger terminal at 1200hrs on Nov. 12 disembarking from ‘Sapphire Princess” of 115,875grt class. The cruising ship left Tianjin of China at 6pm on Nov. 11 carrying 2,600 passengers. Busan Port Authority received at a welcoming ceremony 1 millionth cruising tourist that entered Busan.

The cruising tourists to Korea that recorded 280,000 people in 2012 jumped to 790,000, and hit 1m already this year, and are estimated to reach as many as 1.05m at the year-end. Most cruising tourists to Korea in particular are Chinese (over 90%) people who are big spenders in shopping and hiring buses, greatly contributing to revitalizing regional trades with sales of about 750 billion won.

Of 893,169 cruising tourists that entered Korea during Jan.-Sept. this year, Chinese recorded 805,517 people (90.2%); Japanese, 28,999 (3.2%); USA, 11,198 (1.3%) with Korean tourists merely tallied at 5,482 people.

The driving force for growth in cruising tourists is considered the Chinese demand for preferred touring to Jeju Island. The number of cruising tourists that visited Jeju Port increased in 1.5-fold to 560,000 people this year from 370,000 of the previous year. This rapid rise in cruising tourists to Korea is the combined effects of various measures taken by the government such as cruising tour revitalization plans unveiled last year and the lift-up of touring service included in a 3-year plan for economic innovation. Such a government’s strong will to level up cruising service and the effect of ‘Asia Cruise Leaders Network’ just built have positively worked, MOF considers.
   
 
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