The Korea Herald

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Japanese the largest group of inbound travelers to Busan in 2023

By Lee Si-jin

Published : March 25, 2024 - 15:40

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Overseas tourists and a local chef pose for photos during a cooking class in Busan. (Busan Tourism Organization) Overseas tourists and a local chef pose for photos during a cooking class in Busan. (Busan Tourism Organization)

While the number of overseas travelers to Busan rebounded to 67.7 percent of pre-pandemic levels last year, Japanese visitors topped the number of inbound travelers to Busan in 2023.

A total of 344,537 Japanese tourists visited South Korea's second-largest city, accounting for almost 53 percent of total inbound travelers -- 1,820,057 -- to the city, according to data compiled by the city government and Busan Tourism Organization.

On Sunday the city announced that Taiwanese and American travelers ranked second and third with 257,049 and 168,451 tourists, respectively.

Chinese, who were Busan’s second-biggest group of inbound travelers in 2019, fell to the No. 4 slot with 120,610 visiting in 2023.

“On the back of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the ban on group tours to South Korea, the number of Chinese travelers has been recovering since August 2023,” a Busan city official said in a press release Sunday.

Meanwhile, the city and Busan Tourism Organization will inject some 1.3 billion won ($974,000) toward supporting local travel agencies in attracting overseas travelers to the city, an increase of 100 million won from last year.