Online Searches Reveal Tourist Preferences
A growing number of foreign travelers are carefully researching their trips to Korea online, looking up destinations, how to apply for Korean visas, and prices.
The most-searched terms in the Chinese-speaking regions were "Lotte duty-free shops," "Korean visa," and "weather in Seoul," according to analysis of about 84.97 million travel searches related to Korea in 2015 on English, Chinese, and Japanese search engines like Google, Baidu and Yahoo! Japan, the Korea Tourism Organization said on Tuesday.
In English-speaking countries the major searches are "Dongdaemun Market" and in Japan "Korean cuisine," illuminating the different preferences of travelers who typically come for shopping, local color or food.
The most-searched words overall related to Korean soaps and other pop culture.
The most-searched areas were Gangnam and the demilitarized zone in English-speaking countries, the shopping district of Myeong-dong in Chinese-speaking regions, and the mountainous winter sports destination of Gangwon Province in Japan.
Foreigners were also curious about different kinds of Korean food according to where they came from. Many English-speaking people took an interest in kimchi and gochujang or red pepper paste, while Chinese-speaking people searched Korean barbecue and fried chicken, while the Japanese people searched red bean sherbet that is apparently popular there.
The KTO plans to develop customized software taking these different preferences into account to improve its marketing strategy.