Korea has high hopes for hosting Chinese travelers, who are increasing in number worldwide and getting bolder with their overseas spending. By 2020, Korea wants to host 10 million Chinese tourists.
Chinese tourists currently make up one of the largest groups of foreign tourists in Korea after those from Japan. A total of 1.3 million Chinese people visited Korea last year, representing some 17% of the total number of foreign visitors.
However, many Chinese were found to be less than satisfied with their travels there. China rated Korea last among ten destinations in a survey assessing the level of satisfaction of Chinese tourists.
Many said that they would not recommend Korea to other people. They cited the lack of Chinese-language signs, high costs and heavy traffic as the main inconveniences.
Only 28 out of 60 Seoul restaurants designated by the KTO as "foreigner-specific" offer Chinese-language menus. Despite the nation’s push to globalize Korean food, or "hansik,” more than 40% of Chinese tourists found Korean food to be "tasteless."
Korea Times reported last year, Chinese tourists spent around $2.3 billion in Korea.