The total number of foreign tourists to Korea over the past five months reached 3.19 million, up 3 percent from the same period of last year (3.1 million). Foreign tourists have generated an estimated 8.3 trillion won in additional production, and 4.1 trillion won in added value, while helping create as many as 81,000 jobs.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government projects that if the trend of foreign visitors to the City shown in the first half continues to the end of the second half, the City will receive 8.35 million foreign tourists this year, who are projected to generate 31 trillion won in economic effects, and 200,000 jobs, enabling the tourism industry to make actual contributions to vitalize the Seoul economy.
Moreover, the total amount of foreign tourists’ spending in Seoul has also continued to increase. The figure leapt by 89 percent from 6.3 trillion won in 2006 to 11.9 trillion won in 2010, contributing to activation of the Seoul economy.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government spent 9,050 won on average in tourism and overseas marketing expenses to attract one foreign tourist, but one foreign tourist spends as much as 1.5 million won, which represents 166 times the expense.
Considering that the tourism industry has huge economic benefits, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to proactively implement a tourism policy designed to vitalize the Seoul economy going forward.
The City Government also plans to conduct targeted marketing activities through tourism information sessions and expos in China and Southeast Asia, which are seeing a growing number of tourists and an ever expanding amount of per-capita tourism spending. Notably, the City Government plans to form partnerships with global private-sector enterprises, including Lotte Mart, which has shops in China, in order to attract Chinese tourists (spending of $1,646 per tourist) as part of its public relations and marketing campaigns.
The City Government plans to add the Southeast Asian countries to the other three areas – namely the English, Japanese and Chinese-language regions – designated as its primary targets, and conduct marketing campaigns using local online media tools such as Facebook and YouTube.
The City Government also plans to provide contents on Seoul tourism and guidance for news gathering in the City to Time Out, a British tourism guidebook, which has yet to publish an edition on Seoul. As such, it plans to get Time Out’s Seoul edition published in English and Chinese in November.
In order to vitalize shopping and tourism, the City Government will organize a Seoul Summer Sale, with the participation of 5,972 shops across the City, from June 24 to July 31. By so doing, it plans to provide additional fun and excitement to foreign tourists visiting the City during their summer vacation.