The Suncheon Bay National Garden, a massive ecological park in the country's southwestern region, was the most popular regional tourist destination last year outside of hot spots in and around Seoul, according to government data Wednesday.
The number of visitors to the park, located 415 kilometers south of Seoul in the province of South Jeolla, reached 6.18 million, the largest among regional tourist destinations, last year, according to data provided by the culture ministry and its affiliated Korea Culture and Tourism Institute.
The Suncheon Bay National Garden, dubbed South Korea's "national garden," forms a UNESCO biosphere reserve together with the Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve. The area became the first Korean coastal wetland to be included on the Ramsar list of protected wetlands in 2006.
The Dodamsambong Peaks in Danyang, North Chungcheong Province, came second with 4.66 million visitors, followed by Ganggu Port in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province, and the Expo Marine Park in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, with 3.66 million and 3.62 million visitors, respectively.
Busan's Gamcheon Culture Village and the island of Seonyudo in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, ranked the fifth and sixth-most popular places, with the number of visitors reaching 3.08 million and 2.97 million, respectively.
In and around Seoul, the amusement park Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, was the most popular hot spot, drawing 6.6 million visitors, followed by Kintex exhibition hall in Goyang, just north of Seoul, and Gyeongbok Palace in the capital, with 5.7 million and 5.3 million visitors, respectively. (Yonhap)
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