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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/02/2013 -- Travel and tourism in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) contributed 5.1% to the national GDP and 5.4% of the country's total employment in 2011. In terms of inbound tourism, 2011 proved to be a spectacular year with 9.8 million travelers visiting the country, 11% more than in 2010. However, outbound tourism growth still continues to outstrip inbound tourism growth, as the number of South Koreans travelling abroad grew by 1.7% to 12.7 million in 2011. The resulting imbalance prompted the government to take steps to boost inbound tourism. While the economic development achieved in the last 50 years has catapulted the country into the ranks of the wealthy nations, South Korea's tourism sector has remained largely neglected. The government has rolled out an extensive campaign to promote South Korea as a tourist destination and is aiming to attract 20 million visitors by 2020. South Korea's relatively low profile is expected to fuel inbound tourism, as tourists visiting Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia increasingly look to South Korea as a previously unexplored destination.
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- Travel and tourism in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) contributed 5.1% to the national GDP and 5.4% of the country's total employment in 2011. In terms of inbound tourism, 2011 proved to be a spectacular year with 9.8 million travelers visiting the country, 11% more than in 2010.
- Despite a slowdown in outbound tourism, South Koreans continue to travel abroad extensively. However, growth in outbound travel from South Korea almost came to a halt in 2011, growing by just 1.6% to 12.69 million after the 31.5% growth registered in 2010.
- Total inbound tourist expenditure recovered to grow by 13.7%, from KRW11.93 trillion (US$10.74 billion) in 2010 to KRW13.56 trillion (US$12.21 billion) in 2011. The largest number of tourists came from the Asia-Pacific region, with Japan and China being the main source countries. The hosting of key events such as the 2010 G20 Summit and a Formula One Grand Prix in 2011 boosted the number of international visitors.
- The government has ramped up its efforts in the last decade to promote tourism. Efforts included a five-year plan, "Tourism Vision 21", launched in 1999, which continues to act as the key framework for tourism policy in South Korea.
- South Korea's airline market has shown remarkable growth in recent years. Korean Air is the nation's largest carrier, while Asiana Airlines is the other major carrier in the country.
- Total revenue in the air transport market increased from KRW10.72 trillion in 2007 to KRW16.36 trillion in 2011, at a CAGR of 11.15%. Low-cost airlines recorded the largest CAGR of 91.20% during the review period.
Companies Mentioned in this Report: Asiana Airlines Inc., Korean Airlines Co., Ltd, Jeju Air, Air Busan Co., Ltd, Jin Air Co. Ltd, JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, Park Hyatt Seoul, Lotte Hotel Seoul, The Westin Chosun Seoul, Hotel Shilla Co., Ltd, KT Kumho Rent a Car, Aju Avis Co., Ltd, Sixt Rent a Car (South Korea), Rent a Car 365.com (South Korea), Car Rental Korea, Modetour Network Inc., Hana Tour Service Inc., JaUtour Co., Ltd, Four Seasons Tours & Travel Inc., Bridge Travel Co., Ltd
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