Go to Main Content


Use of Seoul’s unique advantages as a tourist destination

Adoption of differentiated tourism policies with incoming tourists divided into four groups: Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asians, and Europeans/North Americans.

1. China is a tourism market that should be managed carefully. The implementation of the Tourism Act of China (10/1/2013) resulted in a change in the way Chinese tourists used tourist goods in Seoul.

  • In connection with the system of certifying good-quality tourist goods adopted by Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul will do its best to enhance the level of travel content, develop new tourist destinations, and include hands-on experiences for tourists.
  • The practice of travel agencies recommending goods to buy is now gone; hike in prices for tourist goods
  • Enhancement of the level of satisfaction with tourist goods
  • Drastic decrease in the number of tourist goods in Seoul

2. According to a 2013 survey of the status of foreign tourists visiting Seoul, more than 70% of Japanese visitors said that they had visited South Korea more than once. Many individual tourists said that had have visited the country more than 10 times.

  • Seoul Metropolitan Government tries to provide “hidden” travel themes targeting individual tourists
  • Presentation of the following as travel goods: eating food at traditional markets; music mania tour (Hongik University); healing walk

3. Southeast Asia emerges as a new growth market for South Korea. South Korean travel agencies focus on hallyu and the romantic atmosphere of Seoul to attract Southeast Asian tourists.

  • Focal points: seasonal changes; destinations for hands-on experiences in Seoul (e.g. locations where South Korean TV dramas were shot)

4. Diversification of tourism content based on storytelling

  • Hands-on experience of South Koreans filling streets to cheer for their national team when there is an important game; music tour; night city tour

Diversification of tourism content based on storytelling

Seoul Metropolitan Government has pushed ahead with marketing, using storytelling for the following five-leading tourist destinations:

  • Five tourist destinations : Dongdaemun, The Hangang (River), The paths in the royal court of Seoul Baekje, Seoul City Wall, Sejong-daero
  • Distribution of tourist maps for these tourist destinations; operation of courses where visitors can get help from guides speaking foreign languages
  • Encouraging writers to focus on these tourist destinations in films or TV drama scripts written by them.

In 2014, efforts will be made to develop strategic tourist destinations based on storytelling.

  • World travel in Seoul: Stories associated with the history, culture, and people’s lives of other countries felt in Seoul
  • Village travel in Seoul: Autonomous districts are encouraged to explore stories associated with areas in their jurisdiction and develop tourist resources for hand-on experiences

Storytelling courses For more travel information


Korea Tourist Police

The Korea Tourist Police unit was launched in October 2013. Stationed in popular tourist areas, such as Myeongdong, Itaewon, Dongdaemun, Insadong, Hongdae, Cheonggyecheon, and City Hall, this special police force provide diverse services for tourists and are charged with preventing crime and other illegal activities, handling complaints, and providing tourist assistance. A total of 101 tourist police have been selected through a highly competitive process and have pledged to do their best to ensure that all visitors to Korea have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Korea Tourist Police

Main Duties

Tourist protection and crime prevention, Discourage illegal activities, Tourist assistance and translation services, Complaints from Tourists
Tourist protection and crime prevention Patrol 7 major tourist areas in Seoul to protect tourists and prevent crime
Discourage illegal activities Confront perpetuators of unfair and illegal activities, such as overcharging for goods/services, pressuring tourists to purchase goods, and running illegal “call vans”
Tourist assistance and translation services Provide tourist assistance and translation services in English, Japanese, and Chinese
Complaints from Tourists Quickly address any inconveniences or complaints that arise at or near tourist attractions

• Contact: 1330 (Tourist Hotline)