Credit card spending by foreigners totaled 13.7 trillion won ($12 billion) last year, up 32 percent from 2015, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Wednesday.
Foreign visitors’ medical spending also rose 28.7 percent to 510 billion won ($450 million) over the cited period but fell short of the overall growth rate, it said.
Out of the foreigners’ total medical expenses, they spent 402.1 billion won, or 78.5 percent, in Seoul, and almost half of it, or 193.3 billion won, in Gangnam area south of the Han River, the ministry said. It surveyed spending by the holders of four credit cards – VISA, MASTER, American Express and JCB - jointly with Shinhan Card.
The medical costs included spending in general hospitals, plastic surgeons, dentists, private clinics and other institutions.
By nationality, Chinese were heaviest medical spenders with 290.6 billion won, followed by 64.5 billion won spent by Americans, and 38.4 billion won by Russians.
|Source: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism|
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