Tourism organization reveals travel trends of 2020
The Korea Tourism Organization is anxiously studying data that has been collected over the last two years in a bid to come up with solutions to revitalize the sluggish tourism sector, which has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic.
The agency has analyzed travel-related data collected from telecommunication company KT from January 2019 to December 2020 in order to see what changes the pandemic caused in the country and try and figure out what will be essential once international travel begins to resume in earnest. In particular, it has been focusing on the different travel behaviors observed by different age groups.
“We needed to have some timely analysis of data that could reflect the changes seen in the real world so that we know how to respond.”
In 2020, younger people, mainly those in their teens traveled for educational purposes while older people saw travel an opportunity to rest. Those in their teens were the group that traveled least last year, compared to the MZ generation, or those on their 20s and 30s, the X generation, those in their 40s and 50s and seniors in their 60s and 70s. Travel for teens was mostly limited to visiting museums, cultural facilities or outdoor amenities.
The data showed that the MZ generation chose to explore popular destinations, despite the pandemic. This generation is known to be avid users of social media, taking them to streets filled with photo-worthy cafes and restaurants to take and upload pictures.
Those in their 40s and 50s traveled the most with their chosen destinations including both nature-friendly outdoor spots as well as cultural markets in bustling cities.
Those in their 60s and 70s mainly stayed closed to home, taking trips to parks, islands and mountains that require too much travel.
Overall, travel fell 7.12 percent last year from the year before. This shows people tried to stay closed to home for short vacations. Travel outside people's home base fell by 15.38 percent while movement close to home rose by 3.4 percent.
The concept of travel, which used to be known as “leaving your premises” so that you can “stay” in new places seems to be changing, the agency said.
“We wanted to provide some objective research materials that are timely so that we can make tourism policies and related marketing strategies,” said Kim Young-mi, manager of the agency’s tourism big data division.
“We will continue to study such data to regularly check on diverse issues rising up within the tourism sector.”
Go to datalab.visitkorea.or.kr to get more detailed information on travel behaviors seen in Korea.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]