In February, tourist arrivals to South Korea dropped 90.4% year-on-year

Published on : Monday, April 5, 2021

In February, on an annual basis, the number of international tourists visiting South Korea dropped 90.4% to 65,582, including an 88.5% fall in Chinese visitors and 99.2% fall from Japanese visitors, two largest source markets of the country.

As per the statistics unveiled by the Korea Tourism Organization, the tourist number dropped to a fraction of 685,212 tourist arrivals in February 2020, influenced by lesser number of airline routes and restrictions related to the entry due to the pandemic.

In February, there were only 11,982 tourists from China compared to 104,086 a year before and just 1,719 tourists from Japan compared with 211,199 in February 2020. Similarly, the number of arrivals from Taiwan has dropped 99.2% to 444.

Tourist arrivals to South Korea in the first two months of 2021 fell 93.7% from 1,957,920 to 123,979.

Lack of tourists has affected the nation’s 16 foreigner-only casinos in a heavy manner, with Paradise Co having reported a 72.9% year-on-year drop in casino revenue in February to KRW64.10 billion (US$57.1 million) and a 67.0% drop for the initial two months of this year combined to KRW44.75 billion (US$39.9 million).

Grand Korea Leisure witnessed an even greater effect due to the second wave of corona, compelling the closure of its casinos – Gangnam COEX and Gangbuk, Millenium Seoul Hilton in Seoul, and Seven Luck Casino Busan Lotte in Busan – in December. GKL reopened one of those, Seven Luck Casino Busan Lotte, in February but recorded just KRW507 million (US$448,000) in casino sales – down 98.8% year-on-year.

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