For more than 30 years award-winning writer and editor Janice Strong’s work has appeared in regional and national travel publications with both trade and consumer audiences.
The Korea National Tourism Organization and Silk Holidays partnered to host a select group of 47 travel agents at the Hilton Metrotown on Sept. 27 to sample Korean food and learn what’s new and how to sell Korea.
The number of Canadian visitors to Korea are growing says John Park, director, Toronto office, Korea National Tourism Organization.
“Last year 176,000 Canadians visited Korea,” noted Park. “We are expecting 190,000 this year and we are projecting 200,000 for 2019. It is growing and growing. Cruise is also growing and growing. Last year it was about 5,000 cruise passengers from Canada."
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The evening’s presentation put the spotlight on several “must-see” destinations is Seoul and around the country.
Seoul The country’s largest city, and capital, is home to an extensive list of sights and experiences. The Discover Seoul Pass is available in 24-, 48- and 72-hour options and allows free admission to 26 tourist attractions, special discounts for another 30 selected tourist attractions and functions as a T-money card on subways, buses and taxis.
Important historic sites include Bukchon Hanok Village to see traditional houses, that have been preserved for 600 years; Myeongdong, a shopping area voted number one by tourists, that features departments stores, food carts and 100 cosmetic stores; Insadong, another shopping area with traditional tea houses, narrow alleys and art galleries that specializes in traditional souvenirs and Korean antiques; and five royal palaces.
Going to Gyeongju
This museum without walls is home to several UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites including Donggung Palace and the Wolji Pond, Daereungwon Ancient Tombs, burial sits of kings, queens and aristocrats, Cheonmachong Tomb and the National Gyeongju Museum.
Busy in Busan
Korea’s second largest city is also where many cruise ships call. In summer Haeundae Beach is popular with both locals and visitors; Gamcheon Culture Village is a unique terraced village popular with artists; Jagalchi Market is the city’s main seafood market.
Just married in Jeju
A volcanic island that is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, Jeju is a popular honeymoon spot for Koreans. Highlights include the volcanic crater, Saryeoni forest Trail and Byeopjae Beach, famous for green waters, white sand and restaurant scene.
Seoul is a major connection point for travellers to Asia and Incheon Airport offers free transit tours for travellers with a stop-over. Available in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, the free options include traditional sights, shopping, temples, industry and modern sights. All tours have English-speaking guides.
Silk Holidays features several land packages that include Korea.
- Around Korea is 8 days and 7 nights with Monday and Friday departures through December 2019. The package include accommodation, airport transfers, domestic airline tickets, KTX bullet train, English-speaking guide and some meals. Stops include Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan and Jeju Island.
- Korea K-Travel Bus tour is 5 days/4 nights with Sunday and Tuesday departures and includes accommodations, airport transfer, English-speaking guides and admission fees for attractions in Seoul, Busan and Busan.
- Seoul Experience is 7 days/5 nights with daily departures through March 21, 2019. The package includes return air fare with Air Canada, 5 nights accommodation, and a 48-hour Discover Seoul Pass.