Having hosted the world's major sporting events, Korea's sporting legacy continues to pay economic and social dividends that are both tangible and intangible.
The 1988 Summer Olympics opened the door to a succession of events that have raised Korea's profile globally and placed it firmly on the sports tourism map.
The World Ski Awards recently announced the finalists among elite resorts and hospitality providers categories. The awards claim to be the first program to acknowledge and reward the finest brands in the global industry. They feature four "blue ribbon" categories: best ski resort, best hotel, best boutique hotel and best chalet in the top 20 ski nations.
That several Korean resorts and hotels have been nominated speaks volumes about the quality of the country's ski facilities and looks ahead to the Winter Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang.
Korea was also named Asia's Leading Sport Tourism Destination in 2012 at the World Travel Awards in Singapore and has emerged as a leading force in the sports tourism arena. This year it has already hosted the Pyeongchang Special Olympics and is preparing to welcome the World Rowing Championships to Chungju next week. It also looks forward to another Formula 1 race in Yeongam in October and the opening of a new Taekwondo Park in Muju in September.
The worldwide voting process for the ski awards will begin on Aug. 26, with the winners announced at the inaugural ceremony in Kitzbühel, Austria on Nov. 16.
By Ramy Salameh, a travel journalist from the U.K.