While the numbers dropped in the second half of the year, Canadian arrivals to Korea were up 0.3 per cent for 2017, with 176,256 Canadians visiting the country according to the latest figures from the Korea Tourism Office.
The strong start experienced in January continued throughout the first half of the year, the KTO said, adding that a drop in July is likely attributable to increased tensions between North Korea and the U.S. However, Canadian arrivals remained positive despite the fact that worldwide arrivals to Korea had recorded a 22.7 per cent decrease in 2017.
“We saw a downhill starting in July as we believe the North Korea situation was the major concern to the public, and it significantly impacted the travel market in the second half of the year” said John Hyungkwan Park, director for Korea Tourism Organization Toronto Office. “It’s thanks to our very supportive tour operator partners that 2017 was a plus year. We believe 2018 will become a remarkable year to welcome more visitors to Korea than ever before” stated John Park.
With the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has put a significant amount of effort to introduce the host city to Canadians through packages developed by its tour operator partners, and the official mascots showcased in different cities across Canada.
According to the KTO, FIT Travel will continue to be the trend in the Canadian market as more and more travellers discover Korea on their own. “Discover Seoul Pass” is newly introduced for FIT travellers to explore more than 21 Seoul’s must-see landmarks and attractions with free admissions or discounts. The pass can also serve as a transportation card which allows tourists to travel around the city with convenience.
Various niche tourism products will also continue to be a focus, such as Korean beauty, wellness, Taekwondo, and MC&IT.
“We sincerely appreciate our industry partners for all their efforts in promoting Korea and developing new packages. We will continue to work closely with partners to develop more new travel packages to the Canadian market.”
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