Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Wego in deal to boost GCC visitor numbers to South Korea

Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), has partnered with Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) to boost visitor numbers from the GCC to South Korea.
 
In recent days, South Korea has witnessed a growing number of cultural, entertainment and recreational facilities to appeal to every type of traveller. Encouraging more tourists from the Mena region, GCC travellers get visa free arrival ranging from 30 to 90 days. Initiatives from KTO have helped to attract around 12.41 million tourists in 2018, with an increase of 15.1 per cent in 2019.
 
Commenting on the partnership, Kang Kyoosang, regional director of Korea National Tourism Organization, said: “Arrivals from the Gulf have been witnessing a steady growth year on year. Korea received 25,129 Gulf nationals until the end of August 2019, an increase of 21.54 per cent compared to the same period in 2018. One of the key reasons for arrivals to remain steady is our consistent and aggressive marketing efforts in going across all platforms and reaching out to our consumers. With the increased frequency of flight services and luxurious cruise ships, the influx of travellers from the Gulf and the Middle East have continued to surge.”
 
Boasting 14 Unesco World Heritage Sites, tourists are exploring the lesser-travelled islands of the Korean Archipelago like Jeju and Busan, the second largest city in South Korea. Offering a picturesque 360-degree view of the endless coastline, Manjanggul Cave is one of the famous Unesco heritage sites luring countless tourists to this volcanic island.
 
Mamoun Hmedan, managing director, Mena and India, Wego, said: “Korea is a perfect East-Asian getaway where the manmade marvels beautifully blend with the 5,000-year-old well-preserved culture and the splendid tranquillity of nature. Searches on our platform to this hidden gem have increased by 16 per cent year-on-year. We are excited to join hands with KTO to boost visitor numbers and expand the country’s reach.”

Emerging as a new hotspot among young travellers for clicking Instagrammable pictures is the Oryukdo Skywalk, a glass bridge protruding from the cliff overlooking the panoramic vistas of the sea. Also, visiting the traditional bathhouse called “jjimjilbang” translated to “the heated room” is a must-do in the itinerary to unveil the ancient secrets of Korean beauty regimes. Keeping up with the trend, travellers are booking traditional Korean Hanok guesthouses online to experience the Korean hospitality.
 
It is also evident that the KTO is constantly making efforts to raise awareness about the importance of a Muslim friendly travel market in South Korea, as this segment is emerging to be one of the fastest-growing travel segments in recent years.

Halal restaurant week is an annual event held every September to October to promote Muslim friendly restaurants for tourists from all over the world. Over 150 Muslim friendly restaurants participate from all across the country to offer Korean halal food and discount coupons. - TradeArabia News Service