Seoul Named Best Asian Leisure City by Global Traveler

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, has been honored with the prestigious title of “Best Asian Leisure City” at the 11th Annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards organized by Global Traveler. This recognition further solidifies Seoul’s position as a top leisure travel destination, drawing the attention of travelers from around the world.

The Leisure Lifestyle Awards, presented by Global Traveler, a renowned luxury business travel magazine with a monthly print circulation of 550,000 and 2 million monthly online page views, celebrate exceptional leisure destinations across the globe. In the previous year, Seoul achieved an impressive second place, with Taiwan taking the top spot, cementing its reputation as a premier leisure city in Asia.

Amid the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization have worked tirelessly to promote Seoul’s vibrant lifestyle and diverse attractions to international audiences. Collaborating closely with BTS, the globally acclaimed music group serving as honorary tourism ambassadors, they have successfully showcased the city’s unique leisure tourism offerings.

Their continuous efforts have yielded remarkable results:

In May of last year, Seoul hosted the highly anticipated Seoul Festa 2023, a grand event that captivated visitors with a multitude of exciting attractions and entertainment options. From thrilling K-pop concerts to immersive K-culture experiences and a breathtaking Han River drone light show, the festival offered an unforgettable experience for all attendees.

Recognizing the growing interest in hiking tourism, the Seoul Downtown Hiking Center was established at the entrance of Bukhansan Mountain in 2022. This center has been instrumental in offering a wide range of hiking programs, providing outdoor enthusiasts with unforgettable experiences. Furthermore, plans are underway to open a second center near Inwangsan and Bukaksan to cater to the increasing demand.

To enhance the convenience of foreign visitors exploring Seoul’s charm, the Seoul Tourism Organization introduced the Discover Seoul Pass—a dedicated pass exclusively available to foreigners. This pass grants access to major Seoul tourist spots, K-culture experiences, and engaging leisure activities, ensuring an enriching and seamless travel experience.

Seoul’s allure as a must-visit destination has been rapidly spreading, captivating not only Japanese tourists due to its proximity but also travelers from around the world. The city’s tireless efforts in delivering exceptional tourism experiences have solidified its position as a top global destination.

In 2022, Seoul ranked an impressive fourth among the most searched travel destinations worldwide, according to a survey conducted by Airbnb. Additionally, revealed that Seoul was the only overseas destination to secure a place within the top 10 most searched travel destinations by Japanese tourists, further emphasizing its appeal and popularity.

The prestigious recognition from Time magazine as one of the best places to visit in 2022 further affirms Seoul’s status as a city of global interest, capturing the attention of travelers worldwide.

A representative from the Seoul Tourism Organization expressed their delight and gratitude for the award, highlighting their commitment to expanding Seoul’s tourism offerings. They shared plans to develop new riverside tourism content and continuously seek unique experiential elements that showcase Seoul’s captivating lifestyle to a global audience.

Kim Young-hwan, Director of the Tourism and Sports Bureau at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, emphasized the rising popularity of K-culture and K-content, noting the increasing global interest in Seoul’s leisure tourism. He expressed his dedication to leveraging this opportunity to attract more foreign tourists and prestigious MICE events, solidifying Seoul’s reputation as a leading destination for tourism and business gatherings.

Seoul’s recognition as the Best Asian Leisure City serves as a testament to its exceptional attractions, vibrant lifestyle, and ongoing commitment to providing unforgettable experiences for visitors from around the world.


By Korea Travel News