SEOUL, May 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Over 6 million have participated in temple-life experience programs over the past decades, with foreigners accounting for 11 percent of the total, data showed Saturday.
According to data compiled by Rep. Song Eon-seok of the ruling People Power Party, a total of 6.44 million have visited temples across the country as of 2022 to experience temple life since the launch in 2002.
Some 695,000 foreign tourists also enjoyed the temple stay programs.
Temple stay gives visitors a fuller experience by letting them stay at the temple overnight.
Temple stays have garnered popularity, with the number of participants topping 500,000 annually.
But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number fell to 238,000 and 258,000, respectively, in 2020 and 2021.
Last year, the reading bounced back to 430,000 amid eased virus curbs.
The number of Buddhist temples that operate temple stays totaled 150 this year.