SEOUL, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Nearly half of foreigners revisited South Korea last year, with the Japanese becoming the most frequent travelers to the nation, a survey by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed Monday.
According to the 2015 survey conducted at major gateways on 12,900 visitors to the nation, 46.1 percent of the respondents said they had visited South Korea more than once.
Among them, 78.7 percent of Japanese were returning visitors, while the corresponding figure for Chinese travelers, the biggest tourist group, stood at 37.8 percent, the ministry said.
Seven out of 10 surveyed said shopping was the main purpose of their visit, while more travelers wanted to have a variety of experiences, including culinary trips and visits to historical sites in other parts of the nation.
The average spending of foreign travelers was tallied at US$1,712.5 in 2015, up $107 from a year ago, the ministry said.
Seoul was the top travel destination, and Myeongdong, a shopping mecca in the downtown capital, was the most popular spot. Dongdaemun market, the fashion industry hub; ancient palaces; and Namsan Tower were among the hot spots among foreigners, it noted.