South Korea’s Dream of Emerging as a Tourism Powerhouse

The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism aims to boost tourism significantly by enhancing the country’s appeal for both local and international visitors.

The Asian country is striving to surpass pre-pandemic visitor numbers by 2024, with plans to create a more enjoyable tourism environment and establish South Korea as a leading Asian tourist destination.

Second Vice-Minister Jang Mi-ran expressed these ambitions during a recent press briefing in Seoul on Dec 8.

During a briefing in Seoul, Ms. Jang mentioned engaging in multiple tourism-related meetings but found a lack of distinct or exceptional tourism offerings or festivals. Stressing the importance of creating products that appeal to and are endorsed by locals, she highlighted the significance of personally approving recommendations before introducing them, believing this principle applies to the realm of tourism as well.

Ms. Jang highlighted the value of tourism students sharing their personal travel experiences on social media as a means to provide practical recommendations and highlight the appeal and areas for improvement in their hometowns. She expressed a desire to engage more with these students to better grasp the local tourism scene.

Additionally, she stressed the significance of ensuring a safer environment for both international and local tourists.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism plans to establish a public inspection team that engages citizens to uncover and address instances of price discrimination and scams in tourism. Additionally, they will create a dedicated team to handle these cases and assist tourists who file complaints, aiming to ensure fair treatment for all visitors.

Ms. Jang announced plans to introduce traveler-oriented services in 2024, including a dedicated mobile app for foreigners accessing train, bus, and taxi services, along with an English navigation app.

Additionally, to cater to tourists’ interest in Korean content, they aim to expand beauty festivals, K-pop shows, food fairs, e-sports experiences, medical tourism packages, as well as enhance meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions tourism offerings.

Ms. Jang expressed the ambition to draw in 20 million international tourists to Korea in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic 2019 figures. Collaborating extensively with local governments and tourism-related businesses, they aim to bolster and facilitate mass tourism efforts.

In 2022, South Korea saw around 3.2 million inbound tourists, as reported by the Korea Tourism Organization. Prior to the pandemic, the country had reached a peak of 17.5 million inbound visitors in 2019.

SOURCE: South Korea’s Dream of Emerging as a Tourism Powerhouse