Korean TV dramas and films have influenced foreign travellers to choose South Korea as their tourism destination, according to survey.
The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) released the results of a survey it conducted among 3,199 tourists who came to South Korea from Singapore, China, Japan, kothe United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia from the end of 2016 to early this year.
It showed that more than half of the tourists decided to visit South Korea after watching hallyu, or Korean Wave content.
Based on the survey, 1,778 foreign tourists or 55.6 percent came to South Korea after watching Korean dramas and films. About 1,177 or 36.8 percent of the respondents said they visited the country after watching TV travel programs.
About 908 or 28.4 percent of the tourists said they chose South Korea based on social networking site posts and 847 or 26.5 percent said they made their decision based on the recommendation of acquaintances. A total of 24.4 percent said they based their decision after visiting travel websites. The respondents were allowed to choose multiple answers.
The respondents were also asked the countries they compared with South Korea when they made their decision. A total of 65 percent mentioned Japan followed by Taiwan, 29.2 percent; Hong Kong, 27.8 percent; Thailand, 24.7 percent; Singapore, 23.1 percent; and China, 13.5 percent.
Among the respondents, 67.2 percent said shopping was their main activity in South Korea followed by food, 52.1 percent; visit to cultural and historical sites, 51.3 percent; nature activities, 36.4 percent; relaxation, 20.8 percent; festivals and performances, 11.7 percent; and other hallyu activities, 11.5 percent.
A total of 43.8 percent of the respondents said they were with friends and colleagues on their trip to South Korea, followed by spouses having 25.5 percent while solo travelers were 15.6 percent.
South Korea's tourism industry has been severely affected by the ban by the Chinese government after the former deployed the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
On Tuesday, it was announced that South Korea and China have agreed to normalized their relations over the THAAD issue.
"Sharing the view that enhancing exchanges and cooperation between South Korea and China complies with their mutual interests, the two sides agreed to quickly normalize their exchanges and cooperation in all areas," according to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.