Mumbai: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Jeju Tourism Organization in association with Korea Tourism Organization held their India Roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi in October. The last time they held a Roadshow in India was in 2015. Park Hong-Bai, President, Jeju Tourism Organization led the delegation which also included Moon Gyeong Bok, Executive Director, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Jong Sool Kwon, Director, Korea Tourism Organization, New Delhi Office, Ian (Kangil) Rhee, General Manager, Overseas Marketing, Jeju Tourism Organization, Kim Kana, Manager, Overseas Marketing, Jeju Tourism Organization, Sandeep Dutta, Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Organization, Vanshika Kapoor Rekhi, Manager Trade and PR, Korea Tourism Organization and three Korean DMCs. They met with over 100 India-based travel agents.

Jeju is the biggest island off the South Korean peninsula known for volcanic landscapes and lush greenery. The Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes is a UNESCO® World Heritage Site. The island is very popular among Chinese and Japanese tourists. Chinese travellers make up for more than 85 per cent of foreign tourist arrivals.

However, the China – South Korea political standoff last year around the US-led Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system or THAAD has adversely impacted inflow of Chinese outbound travelers to South Korea in general and Jeju in particular. Hence the need to focus on other fast-growing outbound markets like India.

In 2016, 16 million travellers visited Jeju Island of which 3.6 million were foreign tourists. However, only 2400 visitors originated from India in 2017 because Jeju is not well-known among high-value Indian travellers.

Says Park Hong Bai, “Jeju Tourism roadshow is an important first step in tapping the growing India outbound market. Working with Korea Tourism Organization and Hong Kong Tourism Board, we will focus on creating a circuit that will boost arrival numbers to each region from India.”

There are 3000 plus star category hotel rooms in Jeju Island and they sport all the international brands – Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons, you name it. It is an English friendly destination and even has six Indian restaurants.

For flying directly into Jeju Island, Indian passport holders do not require a visa. There are many flights connecting Indian cities to Jeju Island via cities in Thailand, China, Malaysia and Japan, but the most convenient route is via Hong Kong.

“Jeju’s natural beauty and no-visa policy applicable to Indian travelers make it extremely viable as a honeymoon destination,” feels Jong Sool Kwon. “South Korea has welcomed 58,857 Indians so far in 2018 and we hope to see this number growing with Jeju also becoming popular among Indian travellers.”

Up for a hike? Then climb Korea’s highest mountain, Mt. Hallasan. Located at the centre of Jeju Island, Mt. Hallasan is a dormant volcano that is listed as a UNESCO® World Heritage Site.

Jeju is a fairly large island and at 274 km in perimetre, it is one and a half times the size of Hong Kong and three times the size of Singapore. Volcano mountains, beaches, forests, waterfalls, museums, cafes, shopping, there’s a lot to see and do in Jeju.

In the local dialect, ‘Olle’ originally referred to the narrow path between the street and one’s doorstep. Jeju Olle-gil, a series of walking trails that stretch around the entire coast of the island, is one of the many attractions and activities that Jeju has to offer. The trails pass through various landscapes along the way, including small villages, beaches, farms and forests. Each route offers a unique opportunity to soak in the beauty of Jeju and the island’s culture.

The entire area of Jeju Island was designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2010 for its unique volcanic topography and beautiful landscapes. The Geo-trails of Jeju are walking trails that were created using the Global Geopark Network (GGN) brand and based on the unique topographical resources, history, culture, and stories of 12 sites.

Another sought after experience is the Women Diver Show. Watch traditional women divers, one of the distinct symbols of Jeju, dressed in black rubber diving suits, engage in seafood farming – enjoy the fresh catch and be photographed with them.


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