Tourists from US, Singapore are frequent users of Airbnb in South Korea

According to Airbnb, over 1.8 million travellers made use of some 37,000 Airbnb listings in South Korea last year.
According to Airbnb, over 1.8 million travellers made use of some 37,000 Airbnb listings in South Korea last year.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Domestic Korean travellers form the biggest portion of Airbnb users in South Korea in 2017, followed by tourists from the United States and Singapore, US-based home-sharing platform Airbnb said on Wednesday (March 14).

According to Airbnb, over 1.8 million travellers made use of some 37,000 Airbnb listings last year. Of the figure, 66 per cent were Korean tourists travelling domestically.

As for the foreign visitors, those from the US and Singapore were the most comfortable using the home-sharing service, respectively taking out 18 per cent and 13 per cent of the local demand for Airbnb in 2017.

More than 868,800 US tourists visited South Korea last year, of which about 113,700 used Airbnb for their stay.

As for Singaporeans, about 81,700 out of an estimated 216,170 opted for Airbnb. This means 1 in 8 tourists from the US and 2 in 5 from Singapore stayed at Airbnb listings here.

Tourists from China, Hong Kong and Malaysia rounded out the top 5.

Lee Sang Hyun, the head of public policy at Airbnb in South Korea, said in a press release that Airbnb could be the key to the diversification of tourism in Korea, by dispersing the tourists from conventional tourism locations and closer to authentic local spots.

During the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, held last month in Gangwon Province, more than 15,000 people chose Airbnb when booking accommodation.