South Korea reaped a record income from tourism in September, assisted by a solid increase in Chinese tourists, data showed Thursday.
Tourism income reached US$1.76 billion last month, breaking the $1.7 billion mark for the first time.
The total marks a 35% jump from the previous year, according to the data by the central bank and the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, according to South Korea's News Agency (Yonhap).
The record figure was largely credited to an increase in travelers from China. Some 564,078 Chinese tourists visited the country in September, accounting for 45.3% of all tourists.
In the first nine months of the year, a total of 4.68 million Chinese people visited Korea, nearly triple the number of Japanese tourists.
The trend is expected to continue into October as a growing number of tourists opted to travel to Korea following pro-democracy protests at Hong Kong.
"There was a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists that visited Korea during China's National Day holiday from October 1-7," said Lee Sung-tae, a researcher at the tourism institute.
Around 164,000 Chinese are estimated to have traveled to the country during the state holiday, up 38% from last year's week-long holiday, according to the state tourism agency.