Chinese Tourists a Mixed Blessing for Ewha Womans University

      May 06, 2015 12:17

      Last month a Chinese tourist in his 40s bought W1.5 million worth of memorabilia from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, including jackets bearing its logo, coffee mugs and pens (US$1=W1,081).

      He was just one of hundreds of Chinese tourists who visit the campus every day as Ewha ranks among the must-see sites here.

      Last July, CCTV showcased Ewha as one of the top destinations in Korea and the number of Chinese visitors has surged.

      Tourists take a selfie in front of a wall embellished with the Ewha Womans University logo in Seoul on Saturday.

      A university spokesman said thanks to Chinese tourists, sales of university memorabilia have doubled. The number of Chinese visitors surged from just 47 in June of 2013 to 1,105 in February of this year.

      The fad has nothing to do with academic excellence and everything with superstitions. The symbol of the university is the pear blossom, which represents wealth and good fortune in China, while the name of the university sounds similar to the Chinese words "Lì fā," which means increasing wealth.

      But the rising number of Chinese visitors has also brought fresh headaches for university staff. Some Chinese visitors wander into classrooms during lessons, and others were take photos of students without their permission.

      Following complaints from students, the university sent an official request to the Chinese government and local tour agencies seeking their cooperation in protecting the educational environment of the university.

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