Travel industry begins planning for post-corona times

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Travel industry begins planning for post-corona times

Hongje Yuyeon, the new art space open in Seodaemun District, western Seoul. [SEOUL TOURISM ORGANIZATION]

Hongje Yuyeon, the new art space open in Seodaemun District, western Seoul. [SEOUL TOURISM ORGANIZATION]

 
With the end of the tunnel still not in sight when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, the travel industry continues to seek ways to stay afloat. This industry in particular was one of the hardest hit due to the halt put on international travel and the strict quarantine measures in place in Korea.
 
To contemplate what services and knowledge will be essential in the post-pandemic period, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in collaboration with the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), has opened an academy for potential travel industry entrepreneurs. 
 
They will select a total of 45 students from Oct. 8 for a four-hour session every Thursday for five weeks.These sessions will see travel industry experts share their knowledge and experiences so that the new essential services can be identified and further developed. The recruitment process will continue until Sept. 23 and more information is available at www.tourbiz.or.kr for those interested.
 
Dolls traveling around to see hot spots in Korea. [KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION]

Dolls traveling around to see hot spots in Korea. [KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION]

 
“Although the travel industry across the world has been greatly hit due to the spread of Covid-19, it also has a lot of potential to [bounce back] as people have chosen travel as the first thing they want to do when there’s an end to the pandemic,” said the tourism organization.
 
The Seoul Tourism Organization is also gearing up to train travel experts with skills essential in the pandemic where people cannot practice in-person marketing tools. 
 
As digital and online marketing have become important more than ever, the organization and the Seoul city government will start digital marketing training from Sept. 28. The 10-week program will delve into how to make online content and run advertisements, as well as how to estimate how well such content will perform.
 
Other shorter sessions are available for those who want more specific training, such as video marketing or design. The organization also plans to hold online lessons through YouTube from Oct. 20 to share information about the newly rising trends in the travel industry.
 
Seoul Tourism Organization is also helping travel interpreters who have not had much business cross into the online world and become travel influencers. As they can communicate with people overseas speaking other languages than Korean, they can have an easier time promoting travel content with their own videos and photos, the company thinks.
 
Since late last month the KTO has been hosting an event after seeing people in Japan were interested in getting photos of their dolls in different places. It has recruited participants who desire to travel to Korea as a way to maintain their interest until they can visit in person.
 
It selected a total of 10 stuffed dolls to feature at major travel destinations that are popular including the cafe-heavy Ikseon-dong in central Seoul as well as the indie-culture-abundant Hongdae area in western Seoul. These dolls also went to spots where TV drama “Itaewon Class” was filmed in central Seoul, and even made their own transportation cards to get around for the photos. 
 
YouTuber Jessica Lee explains Filipino food adobo on her channel. [PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM-KOREA]

YouTuber Jessica Lee explains Filipino food adobo on her channel. [PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM-KOREA]

 
Overseas travel organizations are taking similar measures to keep locals interested in their countries. The Philippines Department of Tourism-Korea is promoting its food to people in Korea as it joins hands with popular YouTuber Jessica Lee. Together, they created a video of Lee cooking adobo, which is stew with chicken and pork with soy sauce and a classic Filipino food. The department is encouraging people to watch the video and share what other Filipino foods they enjoy on social media by Sept. 13 to win a prize. 
 
“With this event, we hope for more Koreans to be interested in Filipino cuisines and try it for themselves,” said Maria Apo, tourism director of the Philippines Department of Tourism-Korea. “After the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope Korean tourists taste real Filipino cuisine in the Philippines.”
 
Man-made waterfalls by Hongje Stream, Seodaemun District in western Seoul. [SEOUL TOURISM ORGANIZATION]

Man-made waterfalls by Hongje Stream, Seodaemun District in western Seoul. [SEOUL TOURISM ORGANIZATION]

 
While almost everything at the moment is being done online, the Seoul Tourism Organization is gearing up to provide information to those who are preparing for some outdoor activities within the city. It had originally planned to introduce lesser known spots in Seoul in a series to encourage locals to look around their cities from early on this year, but had to push back its plan until now. 
 
While it is still cautious about promoting new spots to visit, it has started to distribute information on outdoor places so that those who are interested can collect the information they need for when the time is right.
 
The first spots to be introduced for the series are in Seodaemun District, western Seoul. The new Hongje Yuyeon, known as the art road of light alongside Hongje Stream, has new art installations in place since July. The combination of changing lights and sounds welcomes inspiration and consolation in the ongoing pandemic. Right outside Hongje Yuyeon are also some fountains and a man-made waterfall to admire.
 
 
BY LEE SUN-MIN   [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
 

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