As the world gradually reopens and travel restrictions ease, South Korea is emerging as a preferred travel destination among global social media users. A study conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) reveals that positive ratings for South Korea as a travel destination significantly outweigh the negative ones, indicating a shift in perception and an increase in interest.
The KTO analyzed perceptions of users in 14 languages from 21 major countries, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States, before and after the pandemic. The analysis revealed that travel enthusiasts are increasingly drawn to South Korea’s unique culture, food, and attractions, with many expressing a desire to visit the country.
Between November 2018 and November 2022, there were 10.58 million posts about traveling to Korea, generating 173 million engagements and 646.8 billion potential impressions among global users. The study found that the positive rate (25.6%) for traveling to Korea was 2.2 times higher than the negative rate (11.8%). The percentage of negative mentions, which surged in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been declining since 2021, signifying a renewed interest in South Korea as a travel destination.
In a comparative analysis of South Korea, China, and Japan as travel destinations, South Korea had the highest global Social Reputation Score (SRS) of 55.8 points. This reflects the growing global appreciation for the country’s rich history, vibrant culture, and modern attractions. Furthermore, it highlights the success of the Korean government and tourism organizations in promoting the country as an appealing destination.
The KTO intends to continue monitoring global social media trends to better understand the interests and demands of potential tourists and to help revitalize tourism in South Korea. By leveraging the insights gained from social media analysis, the KTO aims to further diversify its market and provide valuable data through the Korea Tourism Data Lab to support the country’s growing tourism industry.