Tourism in South Korea refers to the tourist industry in the Republic of Korea. In 2012, 11.1 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, making it the 20th most visited country in the world, and the 6th most visited in Asia. Most non-Korean tourists come from other parts of East Asia such as Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The recent popularity of Korean popular culture, often known as the "Korean Wave", in these countries has increased tourist arrivals. Seoul is the principal tourist destination for visitors; popular tourist destinations outside of Seoul include the major coastal city of Busan, the Seorak-san national park, the historic city of Gyeongju and subtropical Jeju Island.
The majority of the South Korean tourist industry is supported by domestic tourism. Thanks to the country's extensive network of trains and buses, most of the country lies within a day's round trip of any major city. International tourists come primarily from nearby countries in Asia. Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan together account for roughly 75% of the total number of international tourists. In addition, the Korean Wave has brought increasing numbers of tourists from Southeast Asia and India.
South Korea's historical tourist attractions include the ancient capitals of Seoul, Gyeongju and Buyeo.
Some natural landmarks include the peaks of the Baekdudaegan, particularly Seorak-san and Jiri-san, the caves of Danyang and Hwanseongul, and beaches such as Haeundae and Mallipo.
Apart from Jeju island, there are many smaller islands. Excursion ferries are quite common along the south and west coasts and also to Ulleung-do Island, off the east coast. Limited tourism mainly by South Koreans to the Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) has grown in recent years as a result of the political status of the rocks.
Many local districts hold annual festivals, such as the Boryeong Mud Festival and the Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival.