The surge is being attributed to the popularity of K-pop and Korean TV shows in the island country. The Korea Tourism Organization on Tuesday said the number of Taiwanese visitors will hit the landmark on Thursday, having surpassed 900,000 during the first 10 months of this year.
Their numbers rose from 320,000 in 2008 to 925,000 last year, overtaking Americans. They will likely reach 1.1 million by the end of this year to rank third after mainland-Chinese and Japanese tourists here.
Han Hwa-joon at the KTO said, „Taiwan has been influenced by Japanese culture for many years, but the growing popularity of Korean TV dramas, music and food has attracted a lot more Taiwanese to Korea.“
Another factor was an aviation agreement between the two countries in 2015 that led to a big increase in flights connecting them.
Now around 880 flights with 200,000 seats shuttle visitors between the two countries every month. Low-cost carriers offer flights to the island nation not only from Incheon, Gimpo and Gimhae international airports, but also from Daegu and Muan.