Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has partnered travel search engine Wego to boost visitor arrivals from the GCC to South Korea.
To attract more tourists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, South Korea has been offering GCC travellers visa-free arrival for 30 to 90 days.
KTO’s regional director Kang Kyoosang said: “Arrivals from the Gulf have been witnessing a steady growth year on year. (South) Korea received 25,129 Gulf nationals until the end of August 2019, an increase of 21.5 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 Gulf and the Middle East have continued to surge.”
Mamoun Hmedan, managing director, MENA and India, Wego, added: “Searches on our platform to (South Korea) have increased by 16 per cent year-on-year.”
The KTO has been making efforts to raise awareness about South Korea’s Muslim-friendly offerings. It has pushed out initiatives such as the annual Halal Restaurant Week Korea held from September to October to promote Muslim-friendly restaurants across South Korea.
South Korea is home to 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and tourists are increasingly exploring the lesser-travelled islands of the Korean Archipelago like Jeju and Busan.