Industry hopes for boost as S. Korea becomes Visa Waiver country

President Bush is rescinding visa requirements for South Korean citizens, giving Hawaii's tourism industry a likely boost, state officials said.

State tourism officials have long hoped the U.S. would lift the visa requirements in the expectation an increase in visitors from South Korea would help offset a drop in Japanese tourists.

Officials have said they believe the number of South Korean tourists visiting Hawaii could quadruple over the next few years if the U.S. lifted the restrictions.

Currently, about 35,000 South Korean tourists come to Hawaii each year.

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