The number of visitors to Gwanghwamun Square, which opened to the public on Aug. 1 last year, is set to exceed 10 million people. An average of 50,000 people a day is visiting Gwanghwamun Square. If the trend continues, the number of visitors will surpass 10 million people in February.
Because Gwanghwamun Square is adjacent to tourist destinations, including Gyeongbokgung (Palace) and Cheonggyecheon (Stream) and boasts a number of interesting sights, the square is becoming an urban resting place where Seoul citizens and visitors to Seoul want to stop by.
With the number of visitors to Gwanghwamun Square rising, stores nearby the square saw sales increase. In the case of doughnut and ice-cream stores close to the square, sales rose significantly after the square was opened to the public.
Despite the popularity from citizens, the square is drawing various opinions surrounding its identity and management amid a controversy over excessive structures there. In the early days of the opening, the square was also under scrutiny over the safety of pedestrians. In response, Seoul City plans to outline details on how to operate the square by comprehensively gathering opinions from a debate of citizens and experts to assure the square’s identity.