Korea Tourism Organization: Imagine Your South Korea
Haedong Yonggungsa. Photo courtesy of handluggageonly.co.uk

Explore Korea’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, impeccable culinary offering and the recent Muslim-friendly tourism features.

Just before the turn of the decade, Indonesian Eko Prasetio and his family were welcomed by the Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Park Yang-woo, along with the President Director of Korea Tourism Organization. Eko was Indonesian visitor number 17.25 million to Korea. Celebrating the momentous occasion, the minister and head of KTO personally welcomed the family of six at Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on 26 December 2019, hopeful for a sustainable increase in the number of visitors for years to come.

Korea enjoyed the highest number of foreign visitors in 2019, at 17.5 million visitors. This is a positive improvement compared to the 15.35 million visitors in 2018, 13.34 million in 2017, 17.24 million in 2016 and 13.23 million in 2015. This positive trend is mirrored by Indonesian visitors to Korea in the recent years, which can be seen below.

Volume of Indonesian visitors to Korea

± 193,590 in 2015

± 295,461 in 2016

± 230,837 in 2017

± 249,000 in 2018

± 280,000 in 2019

In regard to this matter, Korean Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Kim Chang-beom commented, “We are witnessing a very steady annual growth and I expect this trend to continue. Working together with Indonesian travel agencies and online platforms, we will provide more conveniences and incentives to encourage more visitors to Korea.”

Some of these incentives proved to be extremely successful in the past. One example is the Halal Restaurant Week Korea. The fourth edition of the initiative was held from 1 September to 31 October 2019. This movement was started in 2016 by the Korean government to encourage more Muslim-friendly facilities and destinations, which was particularly aimed at granting easier access to halal culinary stops. As many as 152 restaurants participated in the programme, and, along with 40 other tourist destinations, offered special promotions as part of their contribution to attract more travellers within the Halal Restaurant Week Korea 2019.

The ambassador spoke of other upcoming programmes within 2020 to help increase the volume of Indonesian visitors to Korea. “We will be organising the Muslim-friendly Korea Festival in late August this year at Kota Kasablanka. Not only that, we will be conducting a Welcome Week for Indonesian tourists during the upcoming Lebaran season.”

The Korean government’s effort to provide Muslim-friendly tourism has been well-received by the international Muslim community, earning them eighth place among Muslim-friendly countries to visit, according to the 2019 Global Muslim Travel Index.

For more information, please visit www.visitkorea.or.id.

Refa Koetin

Refa Koetin

A full-time, dream-powered writer, Refa handles NOW! Jakarta publication and other editorial projects in the company. When not writing at his second home (the office), he can be found roaming the city hunting happy hours or exploring its diverse culinary scene. He is also a sci-fi addict, ex-gamer, fitness junkie, beer lover and burger fan. Hit up +62 856 188 0336 for nerd talk or happy hour info.