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China, Japan, and South Korea enhance cultural and tourism exchange

Chinese Tourists

China, Japan, and South Korea designate 2025-2026 for cultural exchange, enhancing tourism and cooperation among the three East Asian nations.

At the ninth trilateral summit held on Monday, China, Japan, and South Korea agreed to designate the years 2025 and 2026 as the China-Japan-South Korea Cultural Exchange Year. This initiative aims to strengthen the longstanding cultural ties and robust people-to-people interactions among these East Asian neighbors, thereby further enhancing tourism and mutual understanding.

Masato Takashima, a Japanese travel magazine writer, recently completed a five-day visit to China and was captivated by the widespread adoption of traditional Chinese attire, Hanfu. “The Hanfu culture in China is incredible. In cities like Xi’an and Luoyang, Hanfu is not limited to tourist sites; it is part of everyday life. Seeing people wearing it on the streets gives you a sense of traveling through time,” .

Takashima’s upcoming article in a prominent Japanese travel magazine aims to highlight the vibrant and beautiful aspects of China, encouraging more Japanese tourists to explore the country.

Cultural affinity and shared traditions make China a compelling destination for tourists from Japan and South Korea. Kim Rin, a South Korean tourist, recently visited China and remarked on the stunning architecture and the friendliness of people in Shanghai.

Tourism from South Korea to China has seen significant growth. Data from Hana Tour, South Korea’s largest travel agency, shows a 608% year-on-year increase in package tour bookings to China in May. Popular destinations for South Korean tourists include major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, as well as scenic spots such as Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province and Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province.

The appeal of China extends to its unique wildlife as well. Following the return of Fu Bao, the first giant panda born in South Korea, to China, South Korean travel agencies have introduced “panda tourism” packages, attracting visitors to Sichuan Province to see the pandas.

I am excited about my next trip to China and hope to explore cities with more local characteristics,” Kim said after her visit to Shanghai.

Conversely, Japan and South Korea remain top international destinations for Chinese tourists. Data from Ctrip, a leading Chinese travel platform, indicates that Japan and South Korea were among the top three destinations for Chinese tourists during the Labor Day holiday.

In the first quarter of 2024, South Korea received approximately 3.4 million foreign tourists, with 1.01 million from China, making Chinese tourists the largest foreign visitor group. Xu Qing, a 76-year-old Chinese tourist, traveled to Seoul with her family and praised the city’s convenience, cleanliness, and safety.

China is also a crucial source of tourists for Japan. According to the Japan Tourism Agency, Chinese tourists had the highest average per capita spending among all foreign visitors in the first quarter, averaging 293,100 yen (approximately 1,867 USD). Beyond shopping, Chinese tourists are increasingly interested in experiencing Japanese culture and traditions. A report from The Yomiuri Shimbun noted a shift in Chinese tourists’ spending habits towards cultural experiences in Japan.

The recent trilateral summit in Seoul, held after a hiatus of over four years, is anticipated to invigorate cooperation among the three nations. Enhanced cultural exchanges and economic collaboration are expected to foster stronger ties and mutual benefits across the region.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.