SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — China’s economic retaliation against South Korea is estimated to have led to some 7.5 trillion won (US$6.8 billion) in losses for the country’s tourism industry, data showed Sunday.
According to the data compiled by the National Assembly’s Budget Office, South Korea’s tourism and accommodation industries suffered a sharp decrease in their revenue over the January-September period on fewer Chinese visitors.
Beijing earlier rolled out various economic retaliations against South Korea in protest of Seoul’s decision to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system on its soil. Tensions were only recently eased after the two neighbors agreed to normalize bilateral relations.
The calculation is based on the number of Chinese visitors to South Korea, along with their average expenditures. The number of visitors fell 3.29 million on-year in the first nine months of this year.
Going into specific sectors, the retail industry suffered a decline of 4.9 trillion won in sales, followed by the accommodation industry that witnessed a drop of 1.1 trillion won.
The office, however, said the losses are also presumed to have partially been recouped by the rising number of visitors from other Asian countries.
Following the announcement to normalize ties, Chinese agencies resumed package tours to South Korea. Experts, however, said it still remains uncertain when things will return to “normal levels.”