Why Koreans tour and stay in the Philippines
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2013 - 3:45pm

MANILA, Philippines - South Korea is the Philippines' top source of tourists for years now, besting China, Japan and the US, and Koreans keep on returning.

"If you look at the population of those four countries, the smallest is Korea, but how come they are the top source of tourists? ...There is something they found in the Philippines that keeps them coming back," Philippine Ambassador to Korea Luis Cruz said in an interview with Radio-TV Malacañang posted on Tuesday.

He said it is common knowledge that Koreans want to learn English in bilingual Philippines, but they also enjoy the country's holiday and leisure destinations.

"I know for a fact that many come to the Philippines over the weekend to play golf. For the women of leisure, they come to us for shopping, for spa and other entertainment activities," Cruz said.


Related: Arrival of Korean tourists remain steady

A Gallup poll, which the Department of Tourism used to implement programs targeting Koreans, shows that Koreans are fond of Filipino seafood dishes as well, Cruz said.

Cruz also traced the two countries' shared history and said Filipinos' assistance in their rehabilitation following the Korean War could also explain Koreans' high regard for Filipinos.

"We have a very long history of bilateral relations ... During the Korean War in 1950, we sent more than 7,000 troops over a five-year period," he shared.

Cruz recounted that the country also sent more people to Korea to help in its rebuilding efforts after a ceasefire between the two Koreas in 1953.
 

A GALLUP ARRIVAL OF KOREAN CRUZ DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DURING THE KOREAN WAR KOREA LUIS CRUZ KOREAN WAR PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR SOUTH KOREA
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