(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- Landing International Development Ltd., which runs a holiday resort on Jeju Island, a popular travel destination in South Korea, claims China's tourism boycott of the country last year did not affect profit.
Domestic families visiting the island make up the bulk of customers, said Pan Zhiwei, senior vice president, adding that only 10 to 15 percent of visitors are foreign tourists.
The number of inbound tourists to South Korea dived 22.7 percent to 13.3 million tourists last year. Travelers from China made up 4.2 million, almost half the number for 2016. In March, the Chinese government banned travel agencies from arranging group trips to the peninsula nation because it agreed to let the United States deploy an anti-missile defense system there. The boycott cost South Korea almost USD7 billion, according to its National Assembly Budget Office.
Landing International's Jeju Shinhwa World resort, built in tandem with record label YG Entertainment Inc., began construction in 2015 and partially opened last year. The 2.5-million-square-meter park, South Korea's largest, will open fully in 2019 and encompasses hotels, restaurants and theme parks.
The resort's Somerset Hotel, which opened in April, had an occupancy rate of 68 percent last year, compared with a sector average of around 38 percent, Pain said. His figures showed that 80 percent of guests were domestic tourists, and only 5 percent came from China.