South Korea’s overseas travel spending set a new record in the second quarter despite a protracted slump in domestic demand stemming from the deadly ferry sinking, government data showed Sunday.
According to the data compiled by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), South Koreans spent a record $5 billion in the April-June period, up 19.6 percent from $4.2 trillion the previous year.
The second-quarter figure broke the previous quarterly record of $4.5 billion tallied in the first three months of this year, the data showed.
Overseas travel spending totaled $1.7 billion in June, also setting a new monthly record, according to Yonhap news agency.
A South Korean tourist spent an average $1,334 abroad over the cited period, up 16.2 percent from $1,148 the previous quarter.
The KTO said the record-breaking overseas spending is attributable to a rise in the number of outbound tourists during the period. In June, for example, the number of South Koreans who traveled abroad reached 1.3 million, growing 4 percent from a year earlier.
The strong local currency also contributed to the overseas spending, the KTO added.
The won stood at an average 1,019 won against the U.S. dollar in June, up 10.2 percent from 1,135 won a year ago.
The South Korean economy grew 0.6 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, the lowest rate in seven quarters due to lackluster domestic demand in the aftermath of the April 16 ferry Sewol disaster that left more than 300 dead.