South Korea sets up tourism office in Philippines
Author : BusinessMirror.com.ph
South Korea has set up its first tourism office in the Philippines aiming to target high- and middle-income Filipinos to explore cultural sites and booming medical tourism in that country.
Charm Lee, president of the newly opened Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said the office will not only promote tourism in Korea but will also help Philippine travel agencies, tour operators and airlines in getting Filipino travelers to Korea.
Lee said the KTO would promote tour packages at reasonable prices for Filipinos.
“KTO is targeting high-income class as well as middle-class Filipino citizens,” said Lee at a press briefing of KTO held recently at Sofitel hotel in Pasay City.
South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Hye Min Lee said the opening of KTO in the Philippines will further boost the more than 60 years of bilateral relations between Korea and the Philippines.
Lee said he is being asked frequently by some fellow diplomats why Koreans love to travel to the Philippines.
South Koreans top the list of foreign tourists to the Philippines with almost 1 million tourists in 2011. It is followed by Japanese and the Americans.
“There were almost 1 million Koreans who visited the Philippines last year and my fellow ambassadors ask me why Koreans visit the Philippines.... I must say, its more fun in the Philippines,” said Lee in his speech at the Korean night.
He expressed hopes that the opening of the Korean tourism office in the country will boost growth in the inbound tourists from the Philippines.
There were some 337,000 Filipino tourists in Korea last year and the KTO aims to accelerate the trend, said Lee.
He said Filipinos account for 3.4 percent of the total number of 9.8 million foreign visitors in Korea in 2011.
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