The financial toll from the loss of big-spending Chinese tourists as the result of ongoing diplomatic row between South Korea and China over Seoul’s deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) could top18 trillion won ($15.9 billion) this year.
Also as many as 400,000 jobs would have been lost, said the Hyundai Research Institute on Friday.
The number of Chinese tourists to Korea fell 40 percent as of July from March against the same five-month period a year ago after group tours were banned from alleged Beijing order. About 3.33 million Chinese tourists gave up their planned trips to Korea during the five month period, which would translate into loss of 7.6 trillion won in tourism revenue during the cited period based on the average spending of $1,956 last year by a Chinese visitor.
For the full year, Korea would have has seen a decline of 7.99 million Chinese tourists, leading to a revenue loss of 18.1 trillion won, the report said.
The figure would account for 46.3 percent of 17.24 million foreign tourists to Korea last year, and 55.8 percent of their total spending of 32.5 trillion won.
By sector, the largest fall in spending was in shopping (12.6 trillion won), followed by food and beverages (2.4 trillion won), accommodation (2.1 trillion won), and transportation (650 billion won).
Meanwhile, the think tank’s report showed that the plunge in the number of Chinese tourists is estimated to have incurred Korea 34 trillion won in production loss, 15.1 trillion won in added value loss, and 401,538 in job loss.
By Lee Seung-yoon
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