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KTO Launches the 100-Day Tourism Campaign
August to October
KTO Launches the 100-Day Tourism Campaign
  • By matthew
  • August 31, 2015, 03:15
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The main page of the Visit Korea Festival website.
The main page of the Visit Korea Festival website.

 

Despite the government’s announcement on July 28 that the MERS outbreak had come to an end, the domestic tourism market, especially the rate of tourists from China and Japan, does not seem to be recovering as quickly as many hoped, which prompted the Korean government to take concrete actions to fight the slump.

In a bid to reinvigorate the stagnant tourism market the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO, CEO Chung Chang-soo) launched a campaign on July 15th called the “100-Day Tourism Campaign.” As much as the campaign is intended for the largest tourist markets in China and Japan, the first and last dates of the campaign were carefully chosen to match Japanese Thanksgiving Day in Aug. and the Chinese national holiday in Oct.

Given that the main purpose of the campaign is to allay foreign tourists’ concerns about MERS and spread the news that traveling to Korea no longer poses a threat of deadly disease, the KTO particularly worked hard to bring as many influential foreign media leaders and CEOs of the largest travel companies on board as possible. The campaign is also designed to highlight the special charms about travel to Korea that differentiate it from other countries. To this end, the KTO is hosting a tour event targeting 100 Chinese journalists, 50 media professionals from 9 Southeast Asian countries, and 100 female Japanese journalists. The KTO also invited major CEOs of Chinese, Japanese, and American travel companies in the business of developing and selling tourism products.

In Aug. and Sept., the KTO is organizing a fam tour titled “Safe Korea”. “Fam tour” is a abbreviation of familiarization tour. It involves hosting a travel agent tour, the promotion of travel products, and increasing the knowledge about a destination. The KTO’s intention is that when these opinion leaders experience Korea first-hand, they will rapidly spread the news about the safety of traveling to Korea to their readers and clients, and also reflect it in their policies.

The 100-Day campaign also includes MICE enterprises. During the July-Sept. period, the KTO is inviting foreign advertisement companies and MICE professionals to a variety of MICE events like the Korea Grand Sale, a nationwide shopping festival. The KTO is also dispatching officials to overseas MICE events held in major cities like Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, and Las Vegas, where they can talk about the benefits and charms of traveling to Korea to the overseas community.

Online Campaign and Multilanguage Tourist information Center 

[[{"fid":"12567","view_mode":"body_image_right","fields":{"format":"body_image_right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"A guest house registered on Benikea's list.","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"A guest house registered on Benikea's list.","height":337,"width":450,"class":"media-element file-body-image-right"}}]]From Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, the KTO will be running a multi-language website titled “Visit Korea Festival” at www.visitkorea.or.kr. This is the online component of the 100-Day Campaign that features an online information center for foreign tourists. Apart from general up-to-date tourist information, the Visit Korea Festival website highlights all types of shopping benefits, commercial prizes, and discounts for concerts and performances. In particular, the website promotes government-run and certified accommodations like Benikea and Korea Stay. For instance, Benikea is a hotel chain operated by the KTO in association with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism that provides premium accommodations at a reasonable price. Koreastay is a home stay service in which home stays are carefully selected by the KTO via a rigorous assessment of such criteria as residential environment, cleanliness, and service.

Catering to Specific Markets: Taiwan

The 100-Day campaign also includes a country-specific campaign. Titled “Pleasant journey filled with lucky benefits”, this Aug. 30 to Nov. 30 Taiwan-specific campaign has KTO joining hands with 13 Taiwanese airliners and 27 travel agencies.

[[{"fid":"12568","view_mode":"body_image_left","fields":{"format":"body_image_left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Taiwanese brochure about traveling to Korea.","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Taiwanese brochure about traveling to Korea.","height":382,"width":450,"class":"media-element file-body-image-left"}}]]The Taiwanese market is the fourth-largest market following China, Japan, and the U.S. that sends tourists to Korea. Nevertheless, during the MERS outbreak, the Taiwanese market shrank by around 75-85 percent.

The main feature of this campaign is to award discount coupons and traveling necessities to those who buy an “Airtel” package. Airtel refers to a tourist package that combines an airline ticket with hotel service. KTO offers 100,000 to 1,000,000 won (US$85 to $847) worth of travel grants to 130 groups or organizations selected through a lottery.

Lee Jae-sung, the director of the International Tourism Division, commented, “During the 100-day campaign, the KTO is going to mobilize all of its capabilities to reverse the slump,” adding, “Our focus is to maximize commercial opportunities during the important holidays in Japan and China, the Japanese Thanksgiving in Aug. and National Holidays in China in Oct.”