Half a Million Koreans to Spend Lunar New Year Abroad

中央日報

Nearly half a million Koreans are poised to spend their Lunar New Year's holiday abroad rather than getting together with their family in their ancestral hometown.

The Korea Tourism Organization on Tuesday said an estimated 480,000 people will leave Korea between Feb. 14 and 19, 15 percent more than last year's holiday.

Hana Tour, Korea's largest tour operator, has had 45,300 overseas bookings for the period, up 17.1 percent from last year's 38,700.

Package tours to Europe saw the biggest increase with 162 percent, followed by the South Pacific with 124 percent, Southeast Asia with 123 percent, and Japan with 115 percent. But bookings to China plunged 20 percent.

Mode Tour, the second largest, had 30,700 bookings abroad, up 14 percent from last year.

Incheon International Airport Corporation predicts that 940,000 people will use the airport over the four-day break, up eight percent from a year ago. The airport will be the busiest on Sunday, the last day of the holiday, with 208,000 passengers expected.

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