|Big year for South Korean travel industry.|
Tuesday, 31st July 2012
Source : Web in Travel
It is just halfway into 2012 and a number of market indicators are reinforcing Amadeus’ belief that the outlook for the South Korean travel sector remains strong, with its government and travel players making strategic investments to drive growth.
David Brett, president of Amadeus Asia Pacific (pictured right), said increased travel between South Korea and China, and more competitive travel prices would greatly boost traveller numbers.
This growth would, however, put added pressure on infrastructure. But as he added, "South Korea has been smart to ensure that infrastructure investment is a priority and that technology plays its part to facilitate the industry’s growth."
He listed four key factors, which will boost the industry's growth further this year.
1. Strategic focus on Chinese visitors
In late June the South Korean government introduced revised visa regulations to make it easier for Chinese travellers to obtain entry into the country. With new streamlined processes more Chinese will be able to make their way south more often. Multiple-entry visas will allow travel to South Korea for five years, up from the current one year.
In some parts of Seoul retailers have started accepting Yuan from Chinese travellers. The Shinsaegae Department Store’s main branch in downtown Seoul has introduced this new service, and more retailers in the capital are working with Chinese bankcard association UnionPay. With these and other new initiatives South Korea aims to attract one million Chinese tourists this summer.
2. Investment in travel infrastructure
The South Korean government is working with the travel industry to invest in new travel infrastructure. In 2011 travel and tourism investment, including the purchase of new aircraft and construction of new hotels, totalled KRW7,600 billion (US$6.7 billion), making South Korea the world’s 19th highest investor in tourism. For this year investments is expected to rise by 4.8%, and 5% per annum.over the next 10 years to over KRW13,000 billion in 2022.