Jeju’s tourism market, which had faltered since the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean peninsula, is in recovery with more than 15 million tourists for the first time in three years.
Jeju Province announced on Dec. 26 that the number of tourists who visited Jeju by Dec. 25th in 2019 was 15.2 million, an increase of 6.6% compared to the previous year. This includes 13.32 million Koreans and 1.7 million foreigners. If current trends continue, the visitor count is expected to reach 15.2 million by the end of 2019.
In other words, an average of 1.25 million people a month and 41,000 tourists a day visited Jeju. This is the second-largest number of visitors after 15.85 million in 2016.
In 2010, the number of tourists visiting Jeju was 7.75 million, which grew rapidly every year, surpassing 15 million in 2016. However, the Chinese government’s retaliation following THAAD deployment in March 2017 resulted in a direct strike on the tourism industry, which had attracted 306 million Chinese tourists a year. In 2018, the number of Korean tourists also decreased.
Jeju Province observed the trend of revival from the second half of this year. The number of individual visitors who visited Jeju to rest was growing rapidly, and many also visited Jeju as a substitute when they boycotted traveling to Japan. Chinese tourists also showed a clear recovery from 650,000 last year to 1.06 million this year.
Jeju’s tourism revenue is projected to reach 7 trillion won in 2019, considering that tourism revenue was 6.53 trillion in 2018, and the share of tertiary industry expanded.
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