The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the demand for tourism could surge almost threefold if riverside areas across the nation are developed into tourism and leisure sites.
In a survey of 1,000 adult Koreans, nationwide apart from Jeju, 94 percent of the respondents said they would visit riverside areas when developed into leisure and tourism spots.
As of 2010, the population aged over 19 was 37.5 million and 38 percent of them, or 12.7 million people, visited a riverside site at least once in 2010, the ministry said. The ministry estimated that the figure could go up to 35.1 million if riverside leisure programs and facilities are established.
Among the four major rivers of Korea, 29 percent of the respondents said they wanted to visit Han River; 19 percent preferred the Nakdong River, 18 percent the Geum River, and 5 percent, opted for the Yeongsang River.
Half of the respondents said they wanted “rest and recreation activities” the most on such a trip. Another 19 percent said they wanted “natural ecology experiences.”
Asked what kind of facilities should be established for riverside tourism, 30 percent said facilities for wetland information and ecological parks are needed. Another 23 percent said observatories, convenience stores and resting areas were necessary for the development of riverside tourism.