Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), in collaboration with Cox & Kings, has invited Femina Miss India 2018 winners to reveal the hidden gems of South Korea, through the creation of Miss India Travel Diaries named ‘18 Reasons to Visit South Korea’.
Of late, South Korea is catching the fancy of many around the world, primarily owing to the Korean pop cultural wave, populary known has Hallyu that is gradually invading Indian hearts too.
From cafes where famous K-dramas are filmed and the K-star Road in the Korean capital, Seoul, to the headquarters of the famous cosmetics brand Innisfree and the many historical temples, Korean programmes have promoted various destinations across the country.
To further build awareness of South Korea in India, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), in association with the travel company Cox & Kings, is organising a familiarisation trip for Miss India 2018 winner Anukreethy Vas and 1st Runner-up Meenakshi Chaudhary to produce a new edition of Miss India Travel Diaries, 18 Reasons to Visit South Korea.
To support this initiative, tourism organisations of the capital city Seoul, the Gyeonggi Province, and Jeju Island have joined hands with KTO.
The trip will focus on various USPs in the country – from its healing forest hikes in Jeju, to the popular night life in Seoul and advanced technological features like free public Wi-Fi spots across the country. Apart from its culture and cosmetics, South Korea is also famous for its spicy food and a variety of adventure activities.
“South Korea is a hidden gem waiting to be explored – futuristic cities, buzzing nightlife, legendary food, K-Pop dramas, high-quality cosmetics and much more. I would like to welcome Miss India to experience all of this and influence travellers’ aspirations to visit South Korea during the upcoming holiday season,” says Jong Sool Kwon, director, Korea Tourism Organization, New Delhi.
Miss India winners promoting the destination might also help in increasing the following for Korean fashion in India. K-beauty has remained rooted in traditions but has also absorbed modern influences. People admire Korean stars and love to follow their makeup and fashion routines. “Everyone in Seoul is always looking their best. You won’t see anyone who isn’t dressed well. Korea never sleeps; on top of that the transport system is super efficient,” says Aanchal Budhiraja, a student in New Delhi and a fanatic of everything Korean, who visited Seoul and Boryeong during South Korea’s famous Boryeong Mud Festival in July.
“I am pretty excited about this trip as its going to be my first time in South Korea. I was told that 2 per cent of Koreans have Indian DNA, that is so exciting. I can already feel a certain connect. Besides that, we have been hearing so much about South Korea, about its culture, its technological prowess, trendy lifestyle, cuisine, its people and so much more. I am really looking forward to this tour,” says Vas.
“As Miss India 2018, I realise the significance of this trip, the impact it would make back home in India, particularly amongst the millennials who look up to us as role models. I also realise that India and South Korea have a lot of similarities in our cultures – like Indians, Koreans respect their elders whole heartedly, similarities in our histories and even economies – the way both our countries graduated from an agro based economy to a modern industrialised economy. I’ll be happy if I can convince more Indians to come explore the country, and likewise if more Koreans can come explore our country to promote cultural exchange and tourism,” she continues.
“I am so eagerly awaiting to experience everything I have been hearing about Korea – the traditional Korean culture, cuisine, fashion, nightlife and more. I hope and believe that this initiative manages to bring in a positive change in bringing more tourists to South Korea from India,” adds Chaudhary, Femina Miss India Grand International 2018.
In the recent past, KTO highlighted South Korea’s rich art, culture and heritage, through various events in the capital Delhi like the South Korea Festival, Seoul Culture Gallery or the Korea-India Friendship Quiz Competition 2018. These events drew crowds from all over Delhi and NCR region with fans of K-pop, history and culture, and fashion attending the events.
The festivals showcased famous tourist destinations, delicacies and heritage, along with food counters to serve the Indian taste buds with local Korean flavours. Besides, the fests featured experiential attractions like facemask painting, Hangeul (Korean) calligraphy, traditional Korean games, virtual reality zone and photo-op booth for visitors to get themselves clicked wearing the traditional Korean Hanbok dress.
Additionally, to meet the rapidly increasing Indian travel passenger demands, the Incheon International Airport recently launched a transfer guide service in Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu for connecting with Indian passengers.
In a cultural infiltration, Korean channels like Arirang and KBS World are aired in north-east India, and Tamil television network Puthuyugam translates K-dramas into Tamil and telecasts them.
To capitalise on this cultural craze, India’s film industry is also looking to Korea for inspiration, with Bollywood remakes of Korean movies including The Man From Nowhere and Montage. Other Bollywood remakes of Korean features like A Hard Day and Miracle In Cell No. 7, are also in line.