Foreign tourists are flocking to Gimhae Gaya Theme Park in Gyeongnam, which showcases the Gaya era from 2,000 years ago.
According to the Gimhae Cultural Foundation Gaya Theme Park, a total of 65,624 tourists visited the park from January to this month, out of which 7,254 were foreign tourists (groups), accounting for 11% of the total visitor count.
The increase in foreign tourists is quite significant, especially when compared to the same period last year when no foreign tourists were able to visit due to the COVID-19 quarantine measures. Even in the previous year, the number of overseas tourists was merely 350, making the current rise quite steep.
Moreover, approximately 2,000 people have scheduled visits to the park by July.
The majority of overseas tourists, more than 90%, come from regions such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other parts of China. However, since the complete lifting of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in April, there has been a rapid increase in visitors from Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Singapore.
On the 10th, around 250 Vietnamese tourists, including executives and employees from the multinational company ‘Akzo Nobel,’ visited the park. They were guests on a corporate incentive tour in Gimhae, Busan, and Gyeongju, aiming to enjoy the local attractions.
During their visit, the tourists watched and cheered the art performance titled ‘Painters Gaya Kingdom,’ which depicted the story of Gaya. They also had the opportunity to experience Korean traditional culture by visiting the Gaya Royal Palace and trying Korean archery. Additionally, they enjoyed taking pictures in various poses while riding the ‘Exciting Cycle,’ a 22-meter high-altitude bicycle.
The surge in foreign tourists can be attributed, to a large extent, to the influence of the ‘Korean wave,’ which gained popularity through home TV during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proactive marketing efforts of the Gimhae Cultural Foundation have also played a significant role. They actively participated in events like the Taipei International Travel Fair, K-Tourism International Road Show, and Korea-Hong Kong Travel Mart to target Chinese tourists.
Choi Jae-jun, head of the tourism business division at the Gimhae Cultural Foundation, stated, “If the current trend continues, we expect that over 20,000 foreign tourists will visit by the end of the year.”
Gaya Theme Park, situated along the Gaya Theme Road, offers visitors a complex cultural space where they can explore and experience the history and culture of the Gaya era.