Korea Tries to Lure More Foreign Tourists

  • By Seok Nam-jun

    April 03, 2019 11:03

    The Korea Tourism Organization is making great efforts to attract corporate groups on incentive tours, a lucrative business in the tourism industry.

    Some 1,800 employees of the Hong Kong branch of British insurance company Prudential will visit Korea next week. Last month, 1,292 employees of Vietnamese paint producer 4 Oranges visited the country.

    Incentive tours are offered by companies to employees as a reward for achieving business objectives. As the average spending per tourist on an incentive tour stands at W2.48 million, compared to W1.68 million for an ordinary tourist, many countries are going to great lengths to attract incentive tours (US$1=W1,137).

    "We expect Prudential Hong Kong staff's visit to produce revenues of W4.84 billion," said a spokesman at the KTO.

    China used to account for the largest number of such tourists to Korea, with the percentage reaching 45 percent with 120,000 visitors in 2016. But the number dropped to a mere 17,000 in 2017 due to China’s unofficial boycott of Korean products and services over the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here.

    As a result, of some 248,000 foreign visitors on incentive tours and for business meetings last year, up 22.6 percent from 202,500 in 2017, some 24 percent were those from Vietnam, 15 percent from Thailand, 13 percent from Taiwan and 12 percent from Indonesia. Chinese accounted for 16 percent. 

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