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South Korean travel industry await prosperous year ahead

It is nearing end of 2012 and many market indicators are anticipating a good growth in the travel sector of South Korea, since its government and travel experts are making strategic investments to boost the growth. The rise in travel between South Korea and China and more competitive travel practices are highly responsible for the considerable growth in South Korean travel industry.

Following are the four major factors, which will significantly boost the travel domain of the country further this year.

Strategic focus on Chinese visitors

To increase the access of Chinese visitors in the country, the South Korean government has taken remarkable initiative to revise the visa regulation process. This would result in the increase of Chinese travelers in the country. Retailers in many parts of Seoul have started to accept Yuan from Chinese travelers. The main branch of Shinsaegae Department Store in downtown Seoul is practicing this newly introduced service and many retailers in the capital are working with Chinese Bankcard Association UnionPay.  With all these new initiatives, South Korea is expecting one million Chinese tourists’ footfall this summer.

Investment in travel infrastructure

The South Korean Government with a combined effort with the travel industry is planning to invest a good amount for the upliftment of the new travel infrastructure. In 2011, the investment in travel and tourism domain, including buying of new aircraft and construction of new hotels made a total of KRW7, 600 billion (US$6.7 billion), making South Korea the 19th biggest investor in tourism across the globe. In the current year, the investment is highly expected to rise by 4.8, and 5%. Over the next 10 years, it may reach KRW13,000 billion.

Increase in competition resulting lower prices for domestic and outbound travel

The domestic airlines are trying to be more economical to attract more passengers for Korea-China route and there is also a rise in low cost carriers flying to China. The lifting of ban on foreign-owned travel agencies is helping more international operators to set up shops. Lately, a survey revealed that in 2011, Seoul-Jeju is the world’s busiest inter-city flight route, due to more competitive travel prices.

Digital platforms as a channel for information and transactions

South Korea is making a great advancement in digital technology platforms that provide information and also serve as a new way of booking for tourists. With an emergence of a host of travel applications, the mobile travel market in South Korea is also expanding. TOPAS lately launched its mobile platform to facilitate the Korean travel agents to stay in contact with their clients, during their trips.

Healthy competitions and emerging opportunities in the Chinese market and the perfect introduction of technology will all play a pivotal role in South Korea’s travel performance in 2013 and beyond.

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