Tourists from the Middle East are the biggest spenders in South Korea

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A new tourism report has revealed that wealthy tourists from the Middle East spent the most in South Korea in 2016. The survey was conducted with the participation of 10,203 foreign nationals who visited South Korea last year.

According to the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, Middle Eastern tourists spent an average of approximately $2,593 last year, amounting to nearly 3 million won when exchanged to Korean won, while Japanese tourists spent around $813, making them the only country with average spending below $1,000.

Among the 135 tourists from the Middle East who were surveyed, the number who spent over $10,000 accounted for over 10%, while those who spent between $3,000 and $9,999 accounted for 32.6%, which means four in ten Middle Eastern visitors spent at least $3,000 in South Korea. Foreign tourists spent an average of $1,625, down from last year’s figure of $1,712.

An official at the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, said, “Middle Eastern visitors tend to spend a lot because many of them visit South Korea for health care.”