January 07, 2020 13:29
A record 13.39 million people visited Seoul's four major royal palaces and Jongmyo Shrine last year.
The surge came partly thanks to the opening of more areas of the palaces to the public that had formerly been off-limits and more guides who speak foreign languages.
The Cultural Heritage Administration said Monday that the number of visitors to Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, Changgyeong Palace and Deoksu Palace, as well as Jongmyo Shrine surged 17.8 percent from the previous record of 13.04 million back in 2016.
Visitors declined during a Chinese boycott and an end to zero-dollar tours from the mainland but have since recovered.
The number of foreign visitors increased sharply last year, rising 21.2 percent to 2.57 million.
A CHA staffer said, "Night-time tours to Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace also contributed to the increase in visitors."
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