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Korea targets luxury premium and student segments from India

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) India, the tourism arm of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Korea recently organised their Sales Call Mission 2022 – South Korea at Hyderabad.

The event saw participation from travel agents based in Hyderabad and nearby cities with several dignitaries in attendance such as Young Geul Choi, Director, KTO India, Suresh Chukkapalli, Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Hyderabad, Sk. Monik Dharamshi and Valmiki Hari Kishan from Skal Hyderabad.

Korea as a travel destination reopened for tourists without any restrictions, last October. Choi mentioned that after the pandemic, flights to Korea have been reduced drastically impacting tourist footfall. Due to this impact, the number of foreign tourists received by the country has now shrunk to 40% per cent of what the country used to receive before the pandemic. While speaking exclusively to TravelBiz Monitor, Choi expressed, “After the pandemic, only a handful, as few as only 9 flights are available to travel to South Korea from India, that too only from Delhi. We are receiving only 40% of tourists as compared to the pre-pandemic numbers. Due to this, our prime focus is now to increase the footfall into the country by increasing the number of direct flights from various cities in India. ”

Choi informed us that to increase the number of direct flights, they are contemplating tie-ups with various other destinations and airlines to direct travellers to Korea. “We are planning to have a word with Singapore Airlines to check whether we can design a packaged tour for travellers interested to visit Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand etc.. Though it’s in a very nascent stage, we are still evaluating all the ways to increase the number of travellers in our country.”

The country which is mostly receiving MICE and corporate tourists is now targeting high-income groups to increase its luxury premium travel numbers.

“Our target for next year is to focus mainly on two segments. One is the luxury premium market, as after the pandemic things changed and travel expenses have now gone up for travelling to Korea. The second segment is that of students. We receive a lot of students for educational tours; these are our target markets going forward,” he added.

According to Choi, cultural bonding between both countries is a must for encouraging the young population to travel to Korea. K-Pop and K-Drama have played an influential part to spread awareness about Korean culture amongst the young Indian crowd.

He also added that apart from Delhi and Mumbai which were the focus areas in India till now, they are exploring markets such as Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad etc., as these cities are emerging as potential markets for their target groups.

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