The result is significant as industry watchers have been expressing concern over the decreasing number of Chinese tourists visiting the country after Beijing banned group tours to Korea.
The number of Chinese nationals in the country came to 2.17 million in the January-June period, down 3.7 percent from a year earlier, separate data compiled by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed earlier.
Market watchers said the robust performance apparently came as individual Chinese retailers went on a buying spree at Korean duty-free shops over the cited period, offsetting damage from the ban on group tours.
Local duty-free shops are anticipated to continue enjoying strong performances as Beijing is set to ease its economic retaliation against Seoul, they added.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)