Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) India, the tourism arm of South Korea under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, has announced that South Korea is now open to all Indian travellers. A host of recently announced significant initiatives by KTO India will enable more travellers from India to access South Korea’s luxury market, business leisure and learning experiences.
With over 130 unique activities and experiences, the country offers something for everyone. While Jeju Island and Gyeongju are tourist favourites for their scenic beauty and traditional charms, metro cities such as Seoul, Busan and Incheon are ideal for bleisure trips. For luxury travellers, the organisation is planning twin-city roadshows in the month of August with the participation of DMCs from Korea. These roadshows will offer a glimpse of the country’s rich culture, unique venues and culinary offerings.
With the rising popularity of Hallyu or the Korean wave in India, Hallyu themed filming locations and experience centres are also being developed. One such centre is the Extended Reality (XR) playground HiKR Ground in Seoul, South Korea which was recently inaugurated last month. The reopening of borders will now give fans of K-Pop and K-Drama a chance to explore the culture of the country they have grown to love.
“We are elated to welcome travellers from India to South Korea again. In the past two years, we adopted a progressive approach towards re-opening tourism. We are excited to share initiatives to facilitate travel for business, experience and learning. We have further elevated traveller experience with immersive experiential centres, re-imagined tourism offerings and look forward to hosting our Indian visitors,” says Young-Geul Choi, Director of Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) India.
According to a press release, to make travel more accessible, KTO has launched ‘Let’s Go Korea Savings Plan’ in association with Shinhan Bank in India. It is a Recurring Deposit scheme to help potential travellers to South Korea save up for their trip, with special interest rates and added benefits. With a minimum deposit amount of INR 2,000 per month for a year, members can avail benefits with Utazzo Travel, a travel agency in Delhi to book their trip to Korea. The investment will act as a regular recurring deposit in case a member is unable to travel to Korea after a year.
Since 2021, KTO has also been working with School Principals across India through virtual sessions to provide students with opportunities for learning, adds the press statement. With travel re-opening, it plans to conduct a physical event in Mumbai later this year to discuss experiential and learning experiences for students in South Korea.
Key airlines have plans in place to welcome tourists to South Korea with larger connectivity and capacity.
“Korean Air resumed its India operations in May 2022 and the load factor has been very positive, already more than 80 pc for August. We plan to roll out special fares on the Delhi/Incheon route around Diwali. If things happen as we anticipate, we will soon have more flights on the India – South Korea route,” says Kim Chan, General Manager (India & Bangladesh) Korean Air.
On the increasing demand to Korea, Asiana Airlines plans to respond with increased frequency.
“Business, employment, leisure and family travel segment remains our strong focus, but surprisingly a lot of players have evinced interest in Korea for their high-end MICE movement. Currently Asiana Airlines operates two flights in a week, every Monday and Friday connecting the two capital cities of Delhi and Seoul,” says Asiana Airlines Regional Manager Jung Sub Song.
A mandatory PCR test within one day of arrival in Korea is necessary for arriving passengers. To provide hassle-free access to Covid-19 screening, test centres will be expanded to more airports across Korea. Currently, there are 3 test centres at Incheon International Airport and one at Gimhae International Airport, says the release.