Indian travellers flocking to South Korea: Over 53,000 visitors in first 4 months of 2024

India is an important market for KTO, shares Myong Kil Yun, Regional Director, India & SAARC Countries, Korea Tourism Organization, adding that in 2023, KTO recorded 122,771 arrivals. The tourist numbers in the first four months of 2024 marked a 95% increase compared to the same period last year, Yun tells T3.

South Korea has emerged as a preferred destination for Indian travellers, as the destination witnesses a 95% increase in visitors from India in the first four months of 2024. Over 53,000 Indian tourists have already explored the vibrant culture and scenic landscapes of South Korea this year, as Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) reports.

“In the first four months of 2024, over 53,000 Indian travellers visited South Korea, contributing to a total of 4,865,670 tourists. This marks a 95% increase compared to the same period last year. In 2023, we saw a remarkable increase in Indian visitors, with 122,771 arrivals, reflecting a growing interest in South Korea as a destination among Indian tourists,” says Myong Kil Yun, Regional Director, India & SAARC Countries, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).

Emphasising that India is an important market for KTO, Yun shares that the Korean Wave, encompassing K-pop, K-dramas, and the rich cultural heritage, is a major draw for tourists and has been driving huge interest. India is not just a growing market but a crucial one for KTO, Yun shares with T3. The affinity for Korean culture among Indians has opened new avenues for tourism. KTO is now actively working to enhance this cultural connection by partnering with travel agents and creating tailored packages that cater to Indian travellers. “This cultural connection positions India as a vital source market for the KTO.”

On June 6, KTO concluded a successful roadshow in Kochi, Kerala. These roadshows are designed to educate travel agents about South Korea’s unique attractions. The Kochi event featured detailed presentations from KTO, VFS Global, and Singapore Airlines, covering everything from must-see destinations to visa procedures and travel logistics.

While South India has been a significant focus, KTO is adopting a pan-India strategy to expand its reach. “This year, we have already held roadshows in several key cities including Mumbai and Bengaluru and in Q3 and Q4, we are planning activities across various regions,” says Yun.

These initiatives to involve the Indian travel trade fraternity are part of KTO’s strategic plan to empower travel agents with the knowledge and tools needed to promote Korean tourism effectively. By reaching out to various regions, KTO is ensuring that Indian travel professionals are well-equipped to create memorable Korean itineraries for their clients.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with our travel partners, and their enthusiasm has been both impressive and motivating. This event has allowed us to provide them with the tools and knowledge to promote Korea as a premier travel destination,” Yun shared on the sidelines of Korea Roadshow in Kochi.

Collaborations with the Korean Embassy, Korean Cultural Center (KCC), and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) are also integral to these efforts. This comprehensive approach ensures both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement, aiming to captivate a broader audience across India, adds Yun.