Rapid economic development in Asian countries has benefitted the South Korean Travel and Tourism sector across all categories - domestic, inbound, and outbound - in terms of both tourism flows and expenditure. The increasing popularity of Korean popular culture, known as the Korean wave, has increased tourist arrivals from Southeast Asia and India. According to the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2013, South Korea ranked sixth among 25 countries in terms of overall travel and tourism in Asia-Pacific.
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Domestic tourist volumes in South Korea increased from 31.2 million in 2009 to 33.5 million in 2013, at a CAGR of 1.83%. The growth was driven by improving economic conditions, rising consumer confidence, and higher disposable incomes
Strong growth was recorded in the South Korean inbound tourism sector during the historic period, with the number of international arrivals rising from 7.6 million in 2009 to 11.9 million in 2013, at a CAGR of 11.84%. Inbound tourist expenditure also increased at a CAGR of 5.84%, from KRW12.5 trillion (US$9.8 billion) in 2009 to KRW15.7 trillion (US$14.3 billion) in 2013. The strong growth in international arrivals can be attributed to marketing initiatives and relaxed visa regulations
South Korea’s medical tourism sector has risen significantly during the historic period and the country has established itself as a popular cosmetic surgery destination. The number of medical tourists to South Korea increased from 60,201 in 2009 to 211,218 in 2013, rising significantly at a CAGR of 36.9%. The total number of medical tourists increased from 154,464 in 2012 to 211,218 in 2013, representing an increase of 32.5%
China was a key source country for South Korea with 4.3 million Chinese visitors in 2013, up from 2.8 million visitors in 2012. Travel is being...