Korea International Travel Expo shows the world what Korea has to offer

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Korea International Travel Expo shows the world what Korea has to offer

The opening ceremony of the Korea International Travel Expo 2021 was held at Paradise Hotel in Incheon on Tuesday. [MINISTRY OF CULTURE, SPORTS, AND TOURISM]

The opening ceremony of the Korea International Travel Expo 2021 was held at Paradise Hotel in Incheon on Tuesday. [MINISTRY OF CULTURE, SPORTS, AND TOURISM]

 
Travel industry experts and the Korean government are seeking ways to ensure safer travels than ever before, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and will present their ideas at an ongoing travel expo until July 13.
 
The Korea International Travel Expo 2021, also known as KITE, kicked off on June 29 and offers details on travel in Korea now and what the country's tourism will look like in the future. It has an in-person expo at Paradise Hotel and Songdo Conventia in Incheon to share information about how to make this summer vacation a memorable one while still reducing the risk of contracting the virus. The organizer also posts relevant information on its official website (www.kite2021.com) for easy access and real-time consultation on travel packages.
 
Given that the travel industry overall has been sluggish during the past year or so, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to put together various travel expos to make one big event. Four different travel groups have been brought together: the Korea MICE Expo, Korea Travel Mart, Korea Luxury Travel Mart and Korea Medical Wellness Tourism Fair. These compromise a few of the key targets of Korea's tourism industry.
 
As for the expo's online events, local travel companies will present what they can do to make group travels possible in the future, what destinations are currently available and more.
 
“The expo will act as a marketplace where travel packages are sold and other travel related activities can happen so that the travel industry can use this event as a stepping stone to revive the overall market sentiment while spreading the word on how great traveling to or in Korea is,” said Culture, Sports, and Tourism Minister Hwang Hee.
 
“We will continue to work closely with many different institutions to get ahead in the global travel market. Many are seeing changes in travel behaviors due to the pandemic, and we are work to form a travel bubble with some other countries.”
 
Hwang added that Korea has recently extended its “Visit Spain” promotion for another year, as did Spain with its “Visit Korea” promotion, showing that global cooperation is the key to getting the global travel market back on track.
 
In the opening ceremony Tuesday, Assistant Chief Executive Chang Chee Pey of the Singapore Tourism Board and British actor and travel program host Joanna Lumley shared their thoughts on the strategies each country is taking and what practices they should adopt in the future to make international travel safe and sustainable.
 
The Korea MICE Expo will run through Friday, while Korea Travel Market will run from July 5 to 7. Korea Luxury Travel Market will run two days on July 8 and 9, and then the Korea Medical Wellness Tourism Fair will finish the expo for another two days from July 12 to 13. About 1,000 local travel companies are expected to consult with about 2,000 potential buyers of tour programs from 40 different countries through the expo.
 
During the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) Expo, industry experts from five different cities including Bangkok, Ulaanbaatar and Jakarta will be looking into what options they have if they were to hold a MICE event of their own in Korea. For the Luxury Travel Market, activities like making makgeolli (fermented Korean rice wine) at Shinpyeon Brewery in Dangjin County, South Chungcheong, or an action-packed or relaxing overnight stay at Woljeong Temple in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon, will be introduced. For the Korea Medical Wellness Tourism Fair, the organizer will hold an online meditation session on July 12.
 
KITE has also appointed K-pop boy band Ateez as its ambassador, to talk more about traveling in Korea. The band will have a live online talk show on July 7 to introduce what travel programs are available and discuss how safe it is to get around in the country. The members will also take the time to answer any travel-related questions in real-time.
 
Anyone who makes a purchase during the expo will get a discount on plane tickets as well as other activity programs. These promotions follow the sharp drop in travelers to Korea. The number of people traveling to Korea was about 17.5 million in 2019, but dove 85.6 percent to 2.5 million in 2020.
 
The Korea International Travel Expo will run until July 13 online and at Paradise Hotel in Incheon and Songdo Conventia. For more information, go to kite2021.com or email psa.kite2021@gmail.com
 
Pyeongchang County of Gangwon welcomes visitors at the Seoul International Tourism Fair at Coex from June 24 to 27 to promote itself as a cool summer travel destination. [YONHAP]

Pyeongchang County of Gangwon welcomes visitors at the Seoul International Tourism Fair at Coex from June 24 to 27 to promote itself as a cool summer travel destination. [YONHAP]

 
Prior to the event, Seoul held the 36th Seoul International Tourism Fair at Coex in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, with about 70 countries participating. Pyeongchang, to revive the attention it lost since the end of the 2018 Winter Olympics, displayed itself as both a cool summer getaway spot and an exciting winter destination.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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