Despite heightened tensions between the U.S., South Korea and the North Korean leadership, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) reports it has maintained its "longstanding reputation" as a safe tourist destination.
In a statement, the Republic of Korea's Tourism Organization (KTO) said "international tourists have been seemingly undaunted by the foreign media’s fixed gaze on North Korea."
The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK -North Korea) has threatened to attack the U.S. and its South Korean ally. The U.S. State Department has expressed concern with the threats.
This year marks the 60th year since the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed.
"The number of Chinese tourists to Korea increased by more than 50 percent compared to last year, and a growing number of tourists from other countries including Thailand and Singapore have been choosing Korea as their vacation destination," the KTO said.
March of 2013 saw the arrival of over one million international tourists to Korea, the KTO said. It was the second time international visitors topped one million in one month, with the first in July of last year.
The overall number of international tourists to Korea exceeded 11 million in 2012, the KTO said. "March’s milestone is a strong indicator that tourists are on track to top 10 million again this year. "
KTO said Korea is planning to enhance its competitiveness as a travel destination by developing various tourism programs that will attract the attention of travelers abroad, and working constantly toward improvement.