Kahini Chakraborty – Mumbai
After receiving 96,000 Indian travellers from January-September 2013, Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) is focusing on targeting leisure and MICE segment from India. The organisation is expecting about 1.2 lakh Indians travelling to Korea this year. Jae Sang Lee, director – New Delhi office, KTO said, “There is a huge business opportunity from the MICE segment. We have worked with the Indian travel trade to develop Korea tourism product packages and FIT programme. By 2015 we expect to attract two lakh Indian travellers to Korea.” KTO recently organised a two-city roadshow in Delhi and Mumbai in order to promote the destination’s tourism offerings. The Korean travel trade that attended the roadshow included Jane Tour & DMC; Kim’s Travel; Bosuk Tours; and US Travel.
According to a market survey done in Korea on Indian travellers, it was estimated that normally leisure travellers’ length of stay is 13 days and MICE travellers’ stay is for seven-eight days. “Yet we see more potential business in MICE travellers than leisure in Korea. KTO will organise incentive roadshows in India in the coming months and will conduct training programmes and workshops in Mumbai in November and December for the Indian travel trade to make them destination specialists. It is also planning to introduce online training programmes for the travel trade,” Lee added.
As part of its marketing initiative, the organisation is looking at tapping Bollywood tourism. “We want Indian producers to shoot in Korea which can open good opportunities. The government of Korea and Korean Embassy have asked Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to come in as the goodwill brand ambassador, and the actor has accepted the proposal. In this way we are targeting the Bollywood industry to come and shoot at the exotic locations of Korea and they can also avail the incentives provided by the government. For the niche market, the organisation is also keen to promote the famous theme parks – Everland theme park and Lotte World. Universal Studios in the US is also keen to develop another theme park downtown of Seoul,” he informed.