Seoul is top tourist area for several Asian nations

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Seoul is top tourist area for several Asian nations

Seoul is the No.1 place where Japanese, Chinese and Thai tourists want to visit, beating out New York, Paris, Honolulu, Maldives and Rome, according to a survey conducted by AC Nielsen, an international market research firm.

This is the second consecutive year that Seoul was in the No. 1 position, the Seoul city government said yesterday.

The survey result comes a few days after Seoul was ranked the No. 3 place to visit this year by The New York Times in an article called: “The 31 Places to Go in 2010.” The Times travel article remains at the top of the most e-mailed articles in the travel section.

Over 1,600 Japanese, Chinese, and Thai tourists who either plan to travel abroad this year or had traveled abroad before in the past two years participated in the online survey.

In the survey conducted in December, 11.4 percent of 800 Chinese respondents picked Seoul as the city they want to visit the most followed by Tokyo (9.9 percent), Paris (8.8 percent), and Maldives (7.4 percent).

Japanese respondents echoed the sentiment of Chinese prospective tourists with 9.8 percent of 500 Japanese respondents saying they want to visit Seoul, outpacing Honolulu, which garnered 9.6 percent, and Rome and New York, which were both listed by 5.4 percent of those polled.

Three hundred prospective Thai tourists participated in the survey and 20 percent chose Seoul as their first choice of places to visit.

Tokyo at 10.3 percent, Maldives at 7.7 percent and Paris at 5.3 percent followed.

Separately, the research company also surveyed 600 other tourists from the three countries who visited Seoul, asking them what the most decisive factor was for their decision.

Many said they saw advertisements about Seoul and watched a Korean TV drama series that showed scenes of the city.

The Seoul city government created and broadcast a TV advertisement “Infinitely yours, Seoul,” featuring the popular K-pop groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, and TVXQ to target potential tourists in Asia.

“There are eyes on Seoul this year as the Korean government is hosting G-20 Summit and Seoul is hosting the 2010 World Design Capital,” said Kang Cheol-won, an official at the city government’s public relations bureau.

“And Seoul was ranked third by The New York Times as a place to go in 2010,” Kang added.

“The city government will continue its marketing strategy to attract more foreign tourists beyond Asia,” he said.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article

중국·일본·태국인 600명 설문


서울을 찾은 아시아 관광객들 대다수는 드라마에 비쳐진 서울을 보고 매력을 느껴 방문한 것으로 나타났다. 드라마 ‘꽃보다 남자’의 윤지후(김현중)가 금잔디(구혜선)에게 사랑을 고백한 반포 무지개 분수, ‘아이리스’의 김현준(이병헌)과 최승희(김태희)가 추격 장면을 보여준 광화문광장이 아시아인들 사이에서 명소가 된 것이다.

서울시는 지난해 12월 서울을 찾은 중국과 일본·태국인 600명을 대상으로 설문조사를 벌인 결과 ‘서울 광고와 드라마를 보고 서울이 좋아져 방문했다’는 응답이 3개국에서 모두 1위(중국인 52%, 일본인 37%, 태국인 55%)를 차지했다고 13일 밝혔다.

또 이들 국가의 현지인 1600명을 상대로 진행한 설문조사에서도 ‘1년 이내에 가장 가보고 싶은 도시’로 서울이 뽑혔다. 서울·도쿄·시드니·파리 등을 놓고 ‘1년 이내 꼭 가보고 싶은 도시’를 묻는 항목에서 중국인 응답자의 11%, 일본 10%, 태국 20%가 서울을 꼽아 세 나라에서 모두 1위를 차지했다.

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