Younger Chinese Tourists Favor Trendy Sites Over Malls

  • By Yoo Ma-di

    October 12, 2016 11:19

    Search and shopping patterns suggest Chinese tourists are becoming more sophisticated as a younger generation don their backpacks when they head to Korea.

    The trendy Hongik University neighborhood in western Seoul ranked No. 1 among places Chinese tourists to Korea searched for on the Internet.

    An ice cream shop near Hongik University bustles with customers.

    PengTai, the Chinese affiliate of Cheil Worldwide, analyzed 800,000 smartphone searches for places of interest by Chinese tourists who visited Korea from Sept. 7 to Oct. 7 and found that Hongik University ranked at the top.

    Next was Mt. Nam in central Seoul, followed by the Bukchon Hanok Village of traditional homes and the Myeongdong shopping district downtown.

    Busan ranked at the top outside Seoul, accounting for 60 percent of queries. Jeju Island came second with 31.6 percent, and Daegu a distant third with 4.8 percent.

    On Jeju, a cafe owned by Big Bang member G-Dragon ranked at the top of searches, followed by Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Woodo Island and Mt. Halla.

    "The movie 'Train to Busan' was a hit among Chinese moviegoers causing the city to become a popular tourist destination," a PengTai staffer said. "Chinese tourists clearly preferred to visit places with cultural significance or scenes from popular programs rather than flocking to traditional tourist destinations."

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