Is Korea turning out to be the next U.S.? Once upon a time the U.S. was the top travel destination until it became hard to get visa approval. Now it seems, the tides have turned and more visitors with their international travel insurance are going to the friendlier, progressive South Korea. Americans are part of exodus but they mostly make sure to have trip cancellation insurance what with the tension between North and South Korea.
Still, based on tourist arrivals to South Korea, Thais are number one with an 18% increase from 2009 and another 20.8% increase from 2010. They are almost at par with the number of Chinese visitors and have overtaken the Japanese even in spending. For instance, according to Korean government officials, a Thai tourist would spend an average of US$1,392 last year in Korea while a Japanese visitor would only spend an average of US$1,070.
One of the reasons for Korea’s popularity in the travel map is the K-Pop culture which has been sweeping the globe with their brand of music and fashion. The South Korean TV soap operas have also been seen in far-reaching countries in South American, Europe and other Asian countries all of which are dubbed in the local language.
The estimate for Chinese spending in Korea this year is expected to reach 2.7 trillion Won which is the Korean currency. The Korean government has successfully formed an excellent welcoming committee to anyone coming from international flights. This has contributed immensely to the overall experience and fostered many return visits.
The Tourism Ministry estimates over 10 million international visitors will be the total number by year end. In 2010, the figure was pegged at 8.7 million.