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S. Korea expects 150,000 Chinese, Japanese tourists

South Korea expects to see more than 150,000 Chinese and Japanese tourists over the long-holiday week that spans from later this month to early next month, which is an 8 percent increase from the same period last year, the state- run tourism agency said Monday.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), 54,000 tourists from China are estimated to visit South Korea during the three-day Labor Day holiday that begins on May 1, a 20 percent growth from 2009.

The Japanese will have their seven-day "Golden Week" holiday from April 29 to May 5, and the KTO said it is targeting approximately 98,000 tourists from Japan during that period.

Unlike the growth in Chinese visitors, the KTO said it expects to see a similar number of Japanese tourists compared to last year due to a weaker Japanese currency and limited number of seats on flights between the two countries.

Seoul was picked as the most preferred travel destination by the Chinese and Japanese in a survey conducted late last year by Nielsen Korea, and was picked as a top three "places to visit" by the New York Times recently.