Croatia is becoming a favourite destination for tourists from South Korea, as shown by the number of their arrivals in the first ten months of this year.
The number of Korean visitors to Croatia has reached 300,000 for the first time this year and is expected to exceed 350,000 by the end of the year, according to the Chosun Ilbo website, one of the most popular sources of information for all age groups in South Korea.
Citing figures from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, the website says that 316,600 Korean tourists visited Croatia between January and October 2015, adding that the Korean Embassy in Zagreb predicts that the total figure for this year will exceed 350,000.
"Until 2009 the country, which boasts pleasant beaches and picturesque towns on the Mediterranean, only saw about 10,000 Koreans a year. The number has jumped more than 30 times over the past six years," The Chosun Ilbo says. "In the past, Croatia was overshadowed by more famous destinations like France and Italy. But active travel bloggers have since alerted Korean tourists to its stunning scenery and affordable prices."
"Many women and elderly people in particular were motivated by a travel program on cable channel tvN which showed tourist attractions in Croatia including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dubrovnik," it says.
"Some 263,756 Koreans visited Croatia in 2014, more than three times the previous year's 74,001. This year, despite the inflow of refugees from the Middle East, even more Koreans visited Croatia. Koreans ranked 12th in terms of the number of visitors to Croatia this year and topped the list of tourists from faraway nations.
"The Korean Embassy has a Korean staff of just four including the ambassador but has become the busiest Korean mission in Europe. Embassy staff are overworked trying to help the flood of Korean tourists," The Chosun Ilbo says, noting that major destinations like Zagreb now publish Korean-language travel maps and guidebooks.