SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Local tour agency Cosmojin Tour announced Tuesday the top five tourism trends in 2016 for inbound travelers.
According to Cosmojin, this year was marked by an increasing number of individual tourists, instead of group tours, and company officials said the number of inquiries for the tours rose by 30 percent from January to November compared to the same period last year.
Tourism services integrated with IT were also noteworthy, with the emergence of IT startups providing a wide spectrum of travel information, including hotel reservations and discount coupons.
Cosmojin saw an increase in business or MICE-related (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) tours as well, and the number of business tours at Consmojin increased by 15 percent this year (January to November).
More tourists sought unique travel experiences that are exclusive to Korea, such as fortune telling or chimaek (chicken and beer) tours, which were made popular through Korean TV shows and soap operas.
In fact, two out of five inbound travelers visiting via Cosmojin requested a chimaek party experience, making it a “must-experience” tour program among foreigners, the company said.
In terms of fortune telling, Cosmojin said that its popularity is steadily growing, with tourists visiting fortune telling houses in Myeongdong, some of which provide their “insights” in foreign languages including English, Chinese, Japanese, and French.
The company added that the tours are also becoming popular among local businesses hosting their overseas partners, seeking to provide guests with a little bit of extra fun.
Finally, “national security” tours offering visits to the Demilitarized Zone or the Joint Security Area separating the two Koreas remained popular, with world-renowned celebrities including Alphabet Inc. executive chairman Eric Schmidt and American TV host Conan O’Brien visiting the sites this year.
Tourists can feel the actuality of the tension between the two countries, while preserving the beauty of untouched ecosystems, making a visit to the unique area a highly attractive proposition, the company said.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)