Seoul is the world’s 10th most popular destination city

Seoul is ranked number 10 in the latest MasterCard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI). It’s reported that 10.2 million overnight visitors traveled to the city, with December-January and October the peak months.

Seoul tourists spent 58.7% of their expenditure in shopping, which is a lot compared to other cities in the index (most in 15-25% range). It proved that Seoul is Asia’s shopping mecca, but it also affirmed recent concerns that Seoul is too reliant on “shopping tourism” and neglecting other possible attractions and city image.

Another possible problem is the dominance of Chinese tourists, which contributed 50% of the foreign visits. It’s not a bad thing in short term but it again showed a lack of diversity in Korean tourism planning. The flow of Chinese tourist could easily be affected with political issues like the recent THAAD plan.

The top 10 cities in the ranking are Bangkok, London, Paris, Dubai, New York, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, Tokyo and Seoul.

Source: MasterCard

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