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Korea aims 1 lakh Indians in 2013

Aimed to attract 10 million tourists from overseas by 2012, the country welcomed its 11 million visitors, topping the tourism record for the country. The contribution of Indian market has also been growing consistently as Korea received 92,000 visitors from India in 2012. “We expect over 100,000 Indian visitors to Korea in 2013 with opening a new Korean Air route from Incheon International Airport, Korea via Colombo in Sri Lanka to Maldives on March 2013,” ,” said Jae-Sang, Lee, Director, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), India.

Citing reasons for his expectation of receiving 100,000 Indian visitors in 2013, he said that Korea is an untapped holiday destination for the Indian market and hence there is a sense of curiosity in the minds of the Indian traveller. “We are set to promote Korea to the niche, evolved traveller from the leisure and MICE market,” he added. Further, he opined Korea has been an untapped destination for weddings and honeymoon. “We are targeting the wedding market and showcasing it as a destination where Indian weddings have not been celebrated. The target markets from India are Mumbai and Delhi followed by Bangalore and Chennai. We are tapping all the metros and we would look into the tier two cities very soon,” he added.

For Korean products, KTO normally works together with Indian travel agents by providing them 50 per cent of marketing expense in India. For medical tourism with its far advanced technologies in Korea is very popular and it is fully supported by Korean Government.

“In view of a good response from the Indian market, we recently organised a four city road show in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai to create awareness about Korea Tourism and networking with travel agents,” he informed. KTO has also been participating in various travel trade fairs like the IITM, SATTE, MTM, Cinemascapes and the India International Film Tourism Conclave to increase awareness about its tourism offerings. “Our objective is to interact and network with travellers, travel agents, corporate professionals and film production houses. We provide detailed information and product knowledge to the travel trade industry,” he added.

This year KTO will focus on developing high quality tourism products, global marketing, special incentive programs for travel agents while concentrating on online marketing initiatives and social media while promoting cultural events, sports, Hallyu(Korean Wave), cuisine, Temple and Hanok-stays to the Indian travellers.

“We expect the numbers to increase because of this as well. Korean Air from Mumbai three days a week while Asiana Airlines from New Delhi three days a week. Air India also flies daily via Hong Kong,” he stated.

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