For the first time in more than a year, the number of Chinese travelers visiting Korea topped the 400-thousand mark in March.
The Ministry of Justice said Tuesday more than 427-thousand Chinese visitors came to Korea last month, up 13-percent on-year, and up 16.5 percent from the previous month.
This rebound comes after the diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing last year over South Korea's deployment of U.S. missile defense system THAAD led to a sharp fall in the number of Chinese tourists to Korea.
After Beijing's ban on group tours to Korea in March 2017, the number of Chinese visitors halved from 614-thousand in February 2017 to 378-thousand in March.
Chinese tourists usually account for around half of all foreign visitors coming to Korea annually, and according to Hyundai Research Institute, Korea's tourism sector suffered over 6.5 billion U.S. dollars of damage last year due to China's travel ban.
Seoul and Beijing agreed to normalize bilateral relations in October.
A thaw in relations following the summit between the two countries' leaders in December, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday is believed to have boosted the number of Chinese visitors to Korea.
Backed by growing numbers of Chinese visitors, the total number of foreign visitors to Korea went up near 30 percent on-month, hitting over 1.3 million people in March.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.