Travel and Tourism - South Korea - November 2012
South Korea (officially known as the Republic of Korea and referred to throughout this report as Korea) has one of the most dynamic economies in Asia, but it has not been immune to the global economic downturn or the crisis in the Eurozone. The country’s tourism industry, however, has proven remarkably resilient in recent years. Tourism is in fact one of the country’s key growth markets, with the government targeting 20 million international arrivals per annum by 2020. As a result, considerable resources have been invested in marketing ‘destination Korea’ both abroad and at home.
The growing popularity of Korean culture on a global scale (a phenomenon known as Hallyu or the ‘Korean Wave’), has also paid dividends in tourism terms. Hallyu has now extended its reach beyond Asia and is helping to attract visitors from Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
The well-documented growth in outbound tourism from China (presently Korea’s second-biggest source market) and the growth in outbound tourism from South East Asia are also factors in Korea’s current tourism success. In addition, favourable and discounted pricing are helping to ensure that its popularity with Japanese tourists continues, despite the difficult economic climate in Japan.
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