SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Middle Eastern tourists accounted for more than 20 percent of big-spending foreign visitors to South Korea last year with their per-capita spending reaching over US$16,000, a poll showed Thursday.
The survey on the top 1 percent high-spending foreign tourists, taken by the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute, showed that 22 percent of them were from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.
China came next with 17.2 percent, followed by the United States with 15.4 percent, Malaysia with 10.6 percent, Russia with 6.5 percent and Australia with 4.9 percent.
Those deep-pocketed foreign tourists to South Korea spent an average $16,690 per visit in 2016. The institute didn’t provide on-year changes or other comparable figures.
Nearly 36 percent of those high spenders came to South Korea for business or other professional activities, with 46.3 percent of them revisiting the country.
Some 67 percent of them were very satisfied with South Korea, far higher than the comparable figure of 43 percent for overall foreign visitors to Seoul.