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South Korea is expected to be the seventh biggest country in terms of outbound source markets around the world by 2030, up from ninth rank in 2018 based on Euromonitor forecasts.
Travel is booming in Asia and in turn South Korea. Outbound trips are becoming more popular and there for several reasons.
One of the biggest factors is that the cost of travelling abroad has fallen. After Incheon International Airport opened its second terminal in January 2018, flight frequency has increased significantly, especially from low-cost carriers. This allows travelers to enjoy more flexible options at reasonable prices.
Online travel agencies and metasearch engines are also stimulating travel by offering the opportunity to compare various options to make the most suitable arrangements at the lowest prices, especially on airlines and overseas lodging.
South Korean Millennials value sharing travel experiences over social media. They post what they experience during travel in real time and also use social channels to get ideas on what to do.
Japan has long been a popular destination for South Korean travelers due to the short distance, great food and many activities to do. Southeast Asia, however, becomes a great option for those with limited time and budget.
Attitude towards life has been changing especially among Millennials. South Korean people are seeking work-life balance after having a reputation of long working hours. The government limited the maximum working hour from 68 hours to 52 hours per week, to encourage employees to spend more time on their personal life. It enables South Korean people to have more spare time as well as think about their life.
Food is important for South Korean travelers when they choose where to travel. It was not too long ago that Southeast Asian Food got popular in South Korea due to its exotic flavor and unfamiliarity. South Korean travelers are willing to go overseas to try the authentic food from the original countries after they are getting more disclosed and able to enjoy the flavor. Social media provides a lot of content such as must-eat-food lists in some Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand or Vietnam.
Due to the opening of Incheon International Airport’s second terminal in January 2018, South Korean travelers enjoy more flexible options at reasonable prices. Low-cost carriers are increasing their flight frequencies and adding more direct flight destinations within Asia region. South Korean travelers have much wider options to fly out within Asia where low-cost carriers can operate. Hence not only the capital cities in Southeast Asia such as Bangkok or Hanoi but also smaller but cities with beautiful landscape become easier to access.
Some of Southeast Asian countries are relatively cheaper when it comes to accommodation, food and activities compared to South Korea. For the same price, travelers experience more abroad.
In addition, South Korea’s image in many of Southeast Asian countries are favorable, thanks to K-pop and Korean wave. This makes South Korean travelers feel more welcomed and willing to visit more as well.
The travel industry has enormous potential, despite the economic downturn in South Korea. People no longer restrain themselves to enjoy their personal life over work and are trying to utilize their time and budget. In addition, international players are actively developing and expanding their presences in the region making the South Korean travel industry much more dynamic and competitive.