Korea Tourism On A Roll


The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) reports the country’s tourist trade is on a roll.

World Tourism Organization figures report that the country hosted 12.1 million tourists in 2013, making it the 20th most-visited country in the world that year and a impressive rise from 2007, when it was in 35th place.

And Randy Snape of the KTO’s Toronto office told a Tuesday Toronto gathering that he’s upbeat about future prospects.

“That number [of visitors] continues to climb… and it’s climbing constantly,” he said, adding the country posted an 18.1% increase in the first half of 2014.

Canadian visits are believed to be up 9.6% this year.

Snape reported that Korea is offering free transit tours of one-, two- and five-hour durations for those who are passing through the country en route to another destination. Those opting for the tours in winter can have their bags checked and will be given temporary use of a winter coat.

Snape noted beauty tours that revolve around cosmetic tourism are available and those who opt for them can get a “complete makeover.”

Meanwhile, those interested in the Korean martial art of tae-kwon-do can visit a training facility that opened this year, has room for 2,000 people and hosts students and masters of the combat form alike, Snape reported.

Snape also praised the Korean tourism slogan Imagine Your Korea: “The idea is that each experience in Korea is completely different.”

Some 40% of tourists visiting Korea return, he added. “It’s all about repeat clientele.”

Pictured (l-r) are Amy Kwon, deputy director; Snape; Jon Murray; Korean Air; and Doojo Kim, director of the KTO’s Toronto office.