SEOUL, Jun. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Wealthy tourists from the Middle East spent the most in South Korea last year, a new tourism report has revealed.
According to the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, Middle Eastern tourists spent an average of approximately $2,593 last year, amounting to nearly 3 million won when exchanged to Korean won, while Japanese tourists spent around $813, making them the only country with average spending below $1,000.
Among the 135 tourists from the Middle East who were surveyed, the number who spent over $10,000 accounted for over 10 percent, while those who spent between $3,000 and $9,999 accounted for 32.6 percent, which means four in ten Middle Eastern visitors spent at least $3,000 in South Korea.
Following closely were Chinese visitors, whose average spending last year was estimated at $2,059.
Middle Eastern tourists typically favored clothing items, while their Chinese counterparts spent the most on cosmetics.
Russians, Singaporeans and visitors from Hong Kong also spent an average of over $1,500, while Canadians and Malaysians spent around $1,020 and $1,032, respectively.
Foreign tourists spent an average of $1,625, down from last year’s figure of $1,712.
“Middle Eastern visitors tend to spend a lot because many of them visit South Korea for health care, or plastic surgery procedures,” an official at the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute said.
The survey was conducted with the participation of 10,203 foreign nationals who visited South Korea last year.