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Bali and Hawaii second, Jeju in South Korea first in visitor numbers

Monday 2, December 2013

 

Bali and Hawaii second, Jeju in South Korea first in visitor numbers

 

Jeju in South Korea has seen more tourists and foreign visitors this year with 10 million than Bali, Hawaii and Okinawa, establishing itself as a leading destination.

 

9.97 million tourists had visited the island so far this year, up 11.4 percent from the same period last year. It is set to welcome 40,000 more tourists, surpassing the 10 million mark for the first time, a spokesman for the province said.

 

The number of foreign tourists, mostly on Chinese package tours, rose 40.6 percent to 2.2 million, while the number of Korean tourists increased 5.4 percent to 7.77 million.

 

Jeju will easily exceed its goal of 10.5 million visitors this year, a provincial official said.

 

The southern resort island will likely post a tourism income of W6.4 trillion this year, a two-fold increase from three years ago and eight times more than its income from its staple business, tangerine sales.

 

Bali saw 8.95 million visitors last year, Hawaii 7.99 million and Okinawa 5.83 million, though they spent more money than in Jeju.

 

But Jeju outpaced them in average growth of visitor numbers over the past three years with 13.1 percent against Bali's 12 percent, Hawaii's 6.3 percent and Okinawa's minus 0.2 percent.

 

A Jeju tourism official attributed boom in part to UNESCO listings -- the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2002, World Natural Heritage sites in 2007 and the Global Geoparks Network in 2010. The scenic trekking trails collectively called "Jeju Olle" and increased access by low-cost airlines also contributed, he added.

 

Jeju reached 100,000 visitors in 1966, five years after statistics began in 1962. It surpassed the 1 million mark in 1983, the 3 million mark in 1991 and the 4 million mark in 1996. But it took a decade until 2005 to achieve the next milestone of over 5 million visitors.

 

 

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