More Than 90% of Visitors Happy with Seoul

Nine out of 10 foreign tourists to Korea have visited Seoul and 90 percent were happy with the experience, a survey announced by the Seoul city government on Tuesday says.

The survey was conducted by pollster Nielsen Korea among 2,000 foreign visitors who came on individual trips to Seoul between February and March. Some 90.4 percent of foreign tourists visited Seoul.

Some 67 percent went to see Myeong-dong, downtown Seoul, 50.4 percent Dongdaemun Market, 39 percent for Namdaemun Market, and 33.1 percent for the traditional area of Insa-dong. Many visitors went to more than one tourist site.

Some 91.2 percent said they were satisfied with their visit, up from 79.1 percent in 2007 and 84.6 percent in 2009. The percentage of foreign tourists who want to visit Seoul again, grew from 77.3 percent in 2009 to 88 percent this year. The proportion of those who said they would recommend the city to friends or colleagues also rose from 82.1 percent in 2009 to 86.9 percent this year.

In multiple answers to the questionnaire, most, or 67.0 percent, said they obtained information on tours of Seoul from their friends or colleagues, followed by 47.4 percent from the Internet, 41.6 percent from travel agencies, and 29.3 percent from travel brochures.

Among Chinese visitors, each spent US$2,203 on average, 32 percent more than the average of $1,670 of all foreign tourists. But Japanese visitors spent a mere $1,229. Some 7.82 million foreign tourists came to Korea last year, up 13.4 percent year-on-year.

Lim Ok-ki, an official with the city government, said to attract still more tourists "we're going to propose simplifying entry procedures at airports to the Justice Ministry and develop more diverse high-end tourism products such as medical tourism and conventions, which could create many jobs."

englishnews@chosun.com / May 12, 2010 09:34 KST