Number of Chinese medical tourists travelling to South Korea has fallen by a quarter.
In the first four months of 2017, the Korea National Tourism Organization (KTO) reported a 25.8% year-to-date decline in arrivals from China, its largest feeder market. In April alone, this decline reached 66.6% year-on-year.
The decline in Chinese visitor arrivals is partly due to an official Chinese ban on Chinese tour groups travelling to South Korea, in a political row over the deployment of the USA’s THAAD missile defence system.
South Korea’s medical tourism depends heavily on Chinese visitors for cosmetic surgery and health checks.
Whether medical tourism numbers have fallen in the same ratio, worse, or better than overall tourism is unknown as local medical tourism bodies are reluctant to reveal figures.