According to Yonhap News,
(SEJONG=Yonhap News) South Korea will open new maritime routes via Taiwan as a means to attract more cruise ship visitors from the Asian country as the local tourism sector has been hurt by political tension with China, the Seoul government said Wednesday.
Officials from the two sides will discuss the schedule for test operations of a new cruise route via South Korea, Taiwan and Japan for 2017 on the sidelines of a Seoul-arranged promotion event to be held in Taipei on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The ministry has already developed a separate cruise package that passes through South Korea, Russia and Japan.
The number of cruise visitors to South Korea experienced a sharp drop in recent months due largely to China's retaliatory measures against the decision to deploy the U.S. anti-missile defense system called THAAD to South Korea.
Some 1.95 million foreigners came to South Korea through cruise ships last year, with 91 percent of them Chinese nationals.
In the first four months of the year, about 280,000 cruise tourists arrived in South Korean seaports, down from 340,000 tallied in the same period last year.
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Source: Yonhap News (May. 17, 2017)