Jan 8, 2017
Tourists wearing the Korean traditional dress "hanbok" take a selfie at Gyeongbok Palace on Jan. 4, 2017. (Yonhap)
The year 2016 saw a record number of people visit the four major palaces in the capital city of Seoul, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said Sunday.
The CHA said the number of domestic and foreign visitors last year to the four palaces -- Gyeongbok Palace
, Changdeok Palace
, Changgyeong Palace
and Deoksu Palace
-- and Jongmyo Shrine
amounted to 16.1 million, up by 17.8% from a year ago.
Foreign visitors reached 3.83 million, passing the 3 million mark for the first time and up by a whopping 60.3% compared with the previous year.
Among the four palaces, Gyeongbok Palace is found to be the most popular with more than 6 million visitors in total. Nearly 2.9 million foreigners visited the palace, while 1.8 million foreigners visited Changdeok Palace and 900,000 visited Changgyeong Palace. Many foreigners visited multiple palaces.
The CHA said it plans to increase special night programs, proven popular with visitors, along with participatory programs, to continuously attract visitors inside and outside of the country.