Saturday, April 27, 2013
More numbers on Jeju-do today:
The number of foreign visitors to Jeju-do went down slightly from 2007 (541,274) to 2008 (540,516), but starting in 2009 (632,354) the numbers started to increase. 2010 had 777,000 visitors to Jeju-do, in 2011 visitors passed a million for the first time with 1,045,637, and last year the number was 1,681,399. Jeju-do's goal for this year is 2.2 million.
The number of foreign visitors as of March is 285,547, compared to 210,199 last year, an increase of 35.8%. The number of Koreans visiting Jeju-do, however, has gone down a bit (3.1%) from 1,818,581 to 1,762,291 in these first three months. Adding these together there is a slight increase in total visitors, 0.9%.
Comparing the money spent in Jeju-do vs. Hawaii and Okinawa:
- In 2011, 8.74 million visitors to Jeju-do spent a total of $4.5 billion,
- In Hawaii, 7.174 million visitors spent $12.8 billion,
- In Okinawa, 5.5 million visitors spent a total of $4.4 billion.
Having the same number of visitors as Hawaii may seem odd at first glance, but Jeju-do is not nearly as isolated. It can be reached by plane under an hour from any part of the country as well as from most of Japan and much of China, and Taiwan is only about two hours away. Most Koreans go there on their honeymoon and well-off Koreans will go there every few weeks to golf. I've been there three or four times too.
Buried in my YouTube account is the following video of a temple there from six years ago, grainy and eerie: