Switzerland Tourism reboots workshops in South Korea amid pandemic

At a time when tourism organisations in South Korea are emptying their event calendars, one tourism board has taken the bold step of restarting its workshops in preparation for the returning demand post-Covid.

Switzerland Tourism’s office in Seoul is the first to try to blow life into the current lacklustre industry by lining up a series of workshops for travel agents and those in travel-related industries.

Switzerland Tourism recently held a socially distanced hybrid workshop for South Korean travel agents

Its first hybrid workshop, held on July 15, was themed around Schilthorn, a summit in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland. The session was conducted as a webinar by a local tourism agency official in Switzerland. Participants were also taught how to take and compile pictures.

For now, the tourism board has a total of 10 workshops scheduled from July through September, which will be filled with programmes for Swiss travel information, its culture and architecture as well as its brunch culture. The tourism board said that this movement is in line with Switzerland reopening to tourists from 30 countries since June 15.

Switzerland Tourism marketing manager, Janice Cho, said: “The domestic and overseas travel industry is currently in a slump and it’s very difficult to predict even one step ahead. It has particularly been hard for those in the travel industry to meet in person and share ideas. We are holding these workshops to provide a means of encouragement for those both in Switzerland and South Korea to look forward to the time when tourism can resume again.”

A participant at Switzerland Tourism’s workshop getting her temperature checked at the venue entrance

With safety being paramount, especially since the country is battling a second wave of coronavirus, strict precautions have been put in place by the tourism board for its workshops. For one, each session is limited to 20 participants, and conducted in a space designed to accommodate over 200 people to maintain safe distancing.

All participants are also required to complete a health questionnaire and temperature check, and use hand sanitiser before the workshop.

Meanwhile, other tourism boards in South Korea like the Tourism Bureau of the Republic of China and Marianas Visitors Authority said that they have cancelled or postponed all their events and workshops, with no plans for any events in the pipeline as yet.

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