[Letters] How Korea can advance its tourismI was in Korea for just three hours each on my way to and from the U.S. on the 4th of July and the 17th of Sept. 2008. Being a writer for the past decade, I love to move about, read and talk to people to find out what is going on in the place I have landed.
Incheon Airport appeared to be so huge, so modern and so grand that for a moment I thought that I thought I had slept straight through and had already reached Seattle. Decent and well behaved staff took us to our connecting flight gate in less than fifteen minutes, so I had time to roam about till the next announcement
The airport shopping area was so entertaining that we - my spouse and I - did not understand how the time passed. We took the opportunity to learn about Korean painting and we still treasure the painted bowl that was given to us by the cultural departmental outlet on the airport.
The idea of learning about Korean art and being able to take the sweet memories you was a pleasing experience which remains fresh in my mind, even though I was only in transit through the airport. I can imagine the quality of Korean hospitality.
I was once associated with a flying club. Therefore, I was familiar with the air map readings. It was also a pleasant coincidence that on board the Boeing 777 I had the good fortune to be able to track my entire flight path from Incheon to Seattle.
Thus on return leg of my journey, I could understand how Korea is best placed on the world air map from the point of flights to the U.S. This part of the flight path is now stored in my mind.
I feel that not only Indians travelling to Seattle, and other U.S. destinations on the west coast, but also all the people in the Indian subcontinent would prefer to travel via Korea.
This is where the fate of Korean tourism could shine like bright moonlight in the darkness of world tourism.
I have now some thoughts to share with Korea from the angle of the requirements of tourists and air travelers. Airlines from countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore attract tourists by providing stopovers and accommodation. Some even arrange to take passengers on free city tours from their international airports.
Well, all these can be explained by the faculty like me who has gained expertise to do so, for the departments and airlines in some kind of business seminars at a good length to enable them to see and grasp the scope beyond horizon.
Well all these things of making arrangements for visitors can be put in place only after some kind of reforms are first done on priority. I could not find information about whether Korea has any kind of system like “visa on arrival.”
As this kind of information was not written in the flight magazine “Morning Calm” that Korean airline publishes. In fact, in India we do not get much information about the facilities for visitors to Korea.
If at all an easy visa is available for visiting Korea, then such information needs to be given good and effective publicity. If it is possible to introduce the system of visa on arrival and if it does not affect internal security of the country then let it be done.
This also needs to be advertised all over the world through trade commissions of the government of Republic of Korea.
These kinds of efforts can bring more tourists to Korea, while it has its prominent place on the international air routes and air maps.
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Vivek Musale, a retired senior bank manager, faculty, auditor and now a writer of Pune India Print Media