South Korea prepares to restart tourism

Noura Al Kaabi visits South Korea Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Korea Travel Night 2022, held recently at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai, marked South Korea’s aim to re-ignite the world of travel as it prepares to start tourism again to international tourists in a phased manner. The event was hosted by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Dubai branch office and attracted some 200 participants.

The show was inaugurated by the CEO of Korea Tourism Organization, Youngbae Ahn, who was in the UAE accompanied by high-level delegation visiting UAE and Gulf region. The ceremony included several impressive show that are ‘Samulnori’ using traditional Korean musical instrument, drum performances with media art and a sand art ceremony highlighting KTO’s new slogan “Travel to Korea Begins Again!”.

Since founding a branch office in Dubai in 2004, Korea Tourism Organization has strived to market Korea as a must-see destination for Middle Eastern travellers. By organizing road shows, FAM trips for travel agencies, media, and influencers, hosting medical conventions, travel fairs and participating in major consumers’ exhibitions and events, KTO aspires to establish interactive relationships with the travel trade industry and potential tourists in the region.

South Korea has particularly made a strong progress in making the country even friendlier to Arab tourists. The Korean tourism authority has been dedicated to carefully implement guidelines in the aspects of Muslim-friendly restaurants around the nation and providing prayer rooms for Muslim tourists in major attractions, airports and shopping malls.

These endeavours bore fruit: 13,226 UAE tourists, and 35,054 tourists from the six GCC nations visited Korea as of 2019. Moreover, 4,089 medical tourists visited Korea to experience excellent cutting-edge medical treatment and oriental medicines.

Korea has a huge fan base in the Gulf region and this is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. During the show, KTO assigned a total of 30 K-Club members and social media influencers as K-travel ambassador, “Hwarang”, a historical notion of elite youth in Korea. The new Hwarang’s mission is to show their love and support to various Korean aspects like tourism, K-pop, K-food, K-beauty and Korean events through offline and online mediums.