Most tourists drawn to Korea by the popularity of the country's soap operas and pop music are Japanese women, according to a study released Thursday by the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute.
Some 65 out of every 100 tourists who came to meet TV stars or attend pop concerts in 2016 were Japanese women, and 29 percent were in their 40s.
If men are included, 75 percent of Korean Wave tourists were Japanese, while 18 percent were from China, four percent from Hong Kong and one percent from Malaysia.
By age, 29 percent were in their 40s, 24 percent in their 20s and 23 percent in their 30s. Some 87 percent overall were women.
Their most popular destination was the downtown shopping district of Myeong-dong (86 percent), followed by COEX in Gangnam (53 percent), Sinchon and Hongik University areas in northwestern Seoul (47 percent), Gangnam subway station area (44 percent) and Dongdaemun market (30 percent).
The institute said 87 percent said they got their tourism information from the Internet.
A KCTI official said, "Considering the fact that the bulk of the Korean Wave visitors are Japanese women, we need to focus on developing other tourism products that cater to this group."