S. Korea eyes huge influx of Chinese during May Day holiday

April 22, 2015
(Courtesy of Seoul Korea via Flickr/Creative Commons

(Courtesy of Seoul Korea via Flickr/Creative Commons)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — About 100,000 Chinese are expected to visit South Korea during the upcoming May Day holiday, having the local hospitality scene and retailers ready to embrace them, the state tourism agency here said Thursday.

The number of Chinese expected to visit during the long-haul holiday for international workers from April 30 to May 4 is up 20.6 percent from a year earlier, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said.

Chinese travelers have steadily surged even during an off-peak travel season, rising 21.6 percent on-year to 515,130 last month, the KTO said.

If this trend continues, the number of inbound Chinese tourists is expected to jump 27.4 percent to 7.8 million this year to set another record, the KTO said.

In contrast, the number of Japanese tourists to visit South Korea during Golden Week, a combination of public holidays that lasts from April 25 to May 6, is forecast to slip 10.6 percent on-year to 73,000, due to prolonged weakness of the Japanese yen against the South Korean currency, it noted.