The police recently discovered an entire floor of a hotel in southern Seoul which is believed to have been used as a brothel.
The proprietor of a large-scale room salon (exclusive bar with female hostesses) on the 12th and 13th floors was apparently in a deal with the hotel management for using all 19 rooms on the 10th floor as locations for engaging in sex trade.
Instead of having to go down to the lobby to gain access to rooms, they were provided with keys right at the bar in what is known as "full salon." The police said they have already found eight hotels engaging in such illegal activities since the beginning of the year.
One five-star hotel in the middle of Gangnam in southern Seoul had its operation suspended for two months for providing such illegitimate services. Sex trade has moved on up from motels and officetels to deluxe hotels.
The number of tourists from China and Japan has been increasing drastically and many of them are forced to stay at hotels in the outskirts of Seoul because of the lack of hotel rooms.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the shortage of hotel rooms in the capital district was estimated at 8,000 but an increasing number of hotels are apparently giving up their fundamental purpose of existence for some quick money.
Industry experts said with the number of foreign visitors breaking the 10 million mark Wednesday for the first time ever, the need for proper accommodation facilities is rising.
There have been complaints about poor signage in foreign languages and low quality of service at some hotels but adding sex trade to the menu is simply going too far, they said.