TV shows sway Koreans’ choices of overseas travel destinations

South Korean reality show Grandpa Over Flowers follows four veteran actors on their backpacking travels in Europe and Taiwan.

More than half of Koreans said the recent hit travel reality shows "Youth over Flowers" and "Grandpas over Flowers" affected their plans for overseas travel, according to a recent survey conducted by the Korea Tourism Organisation. The Korean overseas travel pattern survey showed that about 84 per cent had watched the TV series and more than 64 per cent said the series had affected their decision to travel overseas.

The tvN series featured groups of celebrities traveling in European countries, Taiwan, Laos and Peru, and fun episodes and adventures during their travels.

The survey asked travel-related questions to 1,000 Koreans above the age of 18 who had travelled to foreign countries.

Koreans tend to travel individually (36.3 per cent) rather than in groups (28.4 per cent) and spend an average of 5.4 days traveling overseas, down from 6.5 days last year. The top two travel destinations were the neighbouring countries ― China and Japan. The most important factor in planning overseas trips was travel expenses (36.3 per cent). The proportion of Koreans visiting Japan increased from 17.9 per cent last year to 22.8 per cent this year due to the decrease in travel expenses on account of the weak yen.