| The number of foreigners who visited Seoul has exceeded the 10 million milestone for the first time ever. Among a total of nearly 12.17 million foreign tourists to Korea last year, an estimated 10 million-odd people visited Seoul, the Seoul Institute said Thursday, citing statistics by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The estimate is based on the institute`s 2012 finding that 82.5 percent of foreign tourists to Korea visited Seoul.
Among foreign tourists who visited Seoul last year, the number of Japanese nationals fell from 2.90 million in 2012 to 2.27 million in 2013, while those from China jumped from 2.35 million to 3.57 million over the same period.
Foreign tourists` favorite destinations also changed over the last six years. A comparison of popular tourist destinations in 2007 and 2013 showed that they prefer the Hongik University area (6 percent → 35 percent), Bukchon-Samcheong-dong-Cheong Wa Dae area (6 percent → 33 percent) and the Apgujeong-Sinsa area (3 percent → 25 percent) over traditional tourist spots such as Namdaemun.