SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – With the number of female tourists visiting South Korea surpassing that of men, tourism authorities are ramping up their efforts to attract women through tour packages and other marketing strategies that are geared towards women.
According to a report on immigration statistics released by the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute on Saturday, the number of international female tourists to South Korea rose by nearly 40 percent in 2016 from the previous year, reaching 9.2 million.
In the meantime, the number of male tourists was estimated at just over 6.5 million, accounting for 41.5 percent.
In 2005, male international tourists in South Korea accounted for 55.85 percent of the total, leading women by more than 10 percent. However, the two groups began switching places around 2009, when the rise of Korean pop culture saw the number of Asian female visitors surge, accounting for over 50 percent.
It’s worth noting that the gender gap is prevalent among tourists from Asian countries.
Up until 2008, more Asian male tourists visited South Korea, but in 2009, the two groups swapped places, with Asian women accounting for 53.65 percent of all tourists from Asian countries.
Compared to 10 years ago, the share of female tourists from the Philippines rose from 28 percent to 44 percent, while the number also rose among Vietnamese tourists, from 24 percent to 50 percent.
Similarly, the share of female tourists from Japan and China also jumped, from 47 percent to 58 percent and 42 percent to 64 percent, respectively.
While the trend continued with Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the number of male tourists still surpassed their female counterparts by a large margin among Middle Eastern tourists.
More men than women visited South Korea last year from North American and European countries.
With the majority of visitors from Asian countries being female, the Korea Tourism Organization is taking advantage of the market trend by introducing tourism packages and guidebooks showcasing famous places to help boost interest across the nation including, cafes, cosmetics stores, TV show locations and restaurants frequented by celebrities.
“Compared to male visitors, female visitors to South Korea tend to prefer nearby places and show a deep interest in Korean pop culture and shopping,” a Korea Tourism Organization official said.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)