Taiwanese tourism to South Korea reaches 1 million milestone

South Korean pop culture and economical flights see Taiwanese tourism boom

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Street in Jongno District, Seoul (Image from Max Pixel)

Street in Jongno District, Seoul (Image from Max Pixel)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – For the first time ever, the number of Taiwanese tourists to visit South Korea will exceed one million in a calendar year, and this is expected to occur sometime this week.

The new record of Taiwanese tourism comes off the back of the rising popularity of South Korea pop culture and a proliferation of low-cost airfares, the Seoul Tourism Organization said.

Taiwan is a major importer of South Korean television dramas, and this popularity has affected Taiwanese perceptions of South Korea, wrote Kim Hyun Mee of Yonsei University.

South Korean television programs such as “The City Hall,” “My Love from the Star,” “Signal,” and “My Secret Terrius” have enjoyed widespread success in Taiwan in recent years.

Further, budget flights from low-cost airlines like TigerAir Taiwan and Jeju Air have facilitated greater Taiwan-South Korea exchanges. According to statistics from Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, Taiwanese tourism to South Korea increased by 71.3 percent during the five-year period from 2013 to 2017.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, Taiwan is the third-largest group of international tourists, behind China and Japan.

The Seoul Tourism Organization expects Taiwanese tourism to total around 1.1 million in 2018.