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Seoul picked as most preferred travel destination by some foreigners

Seoul has been picked as the most preferred travel destination by the Chinese, Japanese and Thai people, a Nielsen Korea survey showed Wednesday.

The survey asked last December a combined 1,600 people living in China, Japan and Thailand, who either traveled abroad in the past two years or is planning to go on an overseas trip within a year, their most preferred tourist spot and the respondents from all the three countries picked Seoul as their favorite city to visit.

South Korea's capital city now has been named their most favored travel destination two years in row, according to the report, as 11.4 percent of the Chinese, 9.8 percent of the Japanese, and an overwhelming 20.0 percent of the Thai expressed their preference for Seoul, toppling cities like Tokyo, Paris and Honolulu in the survey.

The report added 83.6 percent of the Chinese, 91.2 percent of the Japanese, and 74.0 percent of the Thai said they would recommend Seoul to others as a travel destination.

Additionally, in a separate survey conducted in the same period, when the research agency asked 600 travelers from the three countries visiting Seoul for their main reason of visit, the consensus top response was "because of South Korean TV shows and Seoul advertisements," reflecting the country's strong influence over cultural contents and the impact of the so-called "Korean Wave" that swept Asian fans over the past few years, Nielsen Korea said.

"It is a special year for Seoul as we will host the G20 summit in November, we have been picked as a top three 'places to visit' by the New York Times recently, and we have been selected as the 2010 World Design Capital this year," said Kang Cheol-won, the city's chief overseas marketing officer in a statement, adding that he will enhance measures to make Seoul more attractive to visitors from not only Asia but from all over the world.