Seoul ranks fifth in the way it handles tourism among 12 major cities in the Asia-Pacific, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Tuesday. The city developed a Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index with the World Tourism Organization which placed Seoul fifth after Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore and Beijing.
Next were Hong Kong, Shanghai, Auckland, Bangkok, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. The TTCI covers 61 categories such as means of transportation, the number of hotel rooms, prices, hygiene, attractiveness of the city, economic scale, and frequency of hosting exhibitions.
Seoul ranked first in hygiene, water quality, the quality of its tourism websites and access to information. It came third in the number of ATMs accepting Visa cards and capacity of sports stadiums. But in terms of the number of hotel rooms and rental cars, shopping environment, attractiveness, and marketing and brand value it ranked ninth, and 10th in the frequency of exposure to international media, 11th in government spending to promote tourism, and at the bottom of the list for fuel prices.
In a similar list for countries worldwide compiled by the World Economic Forum last year, Korea came 31st out of 133 countries, ranking first in hygiene and the low number of AIDS patients and third in Internet environment. But poor scores for road accidents (113th), friendliness to foreigners (115th), and fuel price (116th) dragged the country down.