Seoul City announced on Jan. 13 the results of two separate surveys of 1,600 local people in China, Japan and Thailand as well as 600 foreign tourists visiting Seoul from China, Japan and Thailand. The surveys on ‘Analysis of Effects on Overseas Marketing by Seoul City in 2009’ were conducted by The Nielsen Co., a global marketing research firm, in October and December last year and commissioned by the city.
The majority of respondents said they visited Seoul because ads on Seoul made them like the city
In the first survey of 600 foreign tourists visiting Seoul from China, Japan and Thailand, conducted by The Nielson Co. between Dec. 4 and 15 at major tourist attractions in Seoul, including Namdaemun Market, Gyeongbokgung (Palace), Myeong-dong, Insa-dong, Jongno, Itaewon and Hanok Village (Traditional Korean Village), a majority of the respondents said they visited Seoul because they had a better image of the city after watching advertisements by Seoul City and television dramas set in their countries. The results showed that overseas advertisements by Seoul City played a key role in improving the city’s brand awareness and attracted extra numbers of foreign tourists.
Accordingly, it indicates that Seoul’s overseas marketing efforts to increase the city’s brand awareness are making an impact.
In particular, 8 out of 10 Chinese people, 7 out of 10 Japanese people and 8 out of 10 Thai people responded they watched advertisements on Seoul City. In addition, more than 80 percent of respondents from the three nations said the ads appealed to them.
Most tourists from China, Japan and Thailand expressed their intention to recommend Seoul as a tourist destination
What’s more, most tourists — 83.6 percent of Chinese, 91.2 percent of Japanese and 74 percent of Thai –- said they intend to recommend Seoul as a tourist destination, indicating they were impressed by Seoul’s tour programs that let them experience local history and culture.
Seoul, picked as a city most want to visit for 2nd straight year
In the second survey of 1,600 local people in China, Japan and Thailand, who made an overseas trip over the past two years or plan to make such a trip within the next year, Seoul was selected as the city where they most want to visit within a year for the second straight year.
In the previous survey conducted in November 2008, Seoul had been selected as a city where 13.9 percent of Chinese, 9.8 percent of Japanese and 16 percent of Thai people most want to visit within a year. The surveys noted that a preference on Seoul as a tourist destination among Chinese and Japanese people was gradually growing.
In May, 2008, Seoul was ranked sixth (4 percent) in China and fifth (5.1 percent) in Japan in a list of cities that they most like. As of the end of 2008, Seoul’s ranking rose to fourth (8 percent) in China and third (7.2 percent) in Japan. In a recent survey conducted at the end of 2009, Seoul’s ranking rose further to third (7.9 percent) in China and second (7 percent) in Japan.
Achievements of overseas marketing endeavors through TV stars, direct ads on TV dramas and sports marketing
Since 2008, Seoul City has launched an aggressive overseas marketing program which has helped the city significantly increase its awareness and preference.
In 2008, Seoul City started an ad blitz on televisions and in newspapers in China, Japan, Southeast Asia and North America to promote the city’s image under the ‘Hi Seoul, Soul of Asia’ mantras, with Japanese novelist Ryu Murakami, US pianist George Winston and Chinese director Chen Kaige featured in the ads.
In 2009, Seoul City launched a campaign of ‘Infinitely Yours, Seoul,’ to put an emphasis on a variety of cultural experiences and strengthened advertisements through Hallyu, or Korean Wave, stars and its products. Also, Seoul City set up LED advertising boards on buildings and buses in Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manhattan and Paris to raise Seoul’s brand awareness.
An official in charge of public relations and planning in Seoul City said, “In 2010 we will do our utmost to attract tourists from around the world, beyond Asia, and help create jobs as Seoul will host the World Design Capital Seoul 2010 and the G-20 Summit in November this year. Seoul was recently selected as the third most popular destination ‘The 31 Places to Go in 2010’ by the New York Times.” The ‘Analysis of Effects on Overseas Marketing by Seoul City in 2009’ consisted of two separate surveys, an online survey of 1,600 local people in China, Japan and Thailand and another face-to-face survey and ‘Focus Group Interview’ of 600 tourists visiting Seoul between Dec. 4 and 15 in 2009. An interview with local people and tourists is now under way and will be completed by the end of January.