A two-day Korean fest – Korea Culture and Tourism Festival 2017, showcasing South Korea’s rich art, culture and heritage, was organised by Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), in Gurugram from November 25-26. The festival drew crowds from all over Delhi and NCR region with fans of K-pop, Korean dramas, make-up and culture attending the event.
Indian travellers are exploring the world like never before – according to Integron, India is amongst the fastest growing outbound travel markets and is expected to be among the top five in terms of international tourism expenditures by 2025.
Hence, putting forward South Korea as a unique tourist destination for Indians, the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), organised Korea Culture and Tourism Festival 2017 in Gurugram (region surrounding the Indian capital, New Delhi) from November 25-26, inaugurated by Min Hong Min, executive vice president for international tourism, Korea Tourism Organisation.
The event witnessed presence of eminent representatives from regional tourism boards of South Korea and related organisations including Gyeonggi Tourism Organisation, Gimhae City, Busan Metropolitan City, Korean Air, Busan Tourism Organisation, Gwangju Metropolitan City, Incheon International Airport Corporation, and Visit Korea Committee, amongst others.
The extravaganza was kicked-off amidst much fanfare and authentic Korean performances such as Nanta (non-verbal performance), and B-boying by Gambler Crew, flown in from South Korea.
The festival showcased famous South Korean tourist destinations, delicacies, art, culture and heritage, along with food counters to serve the Indian taste buds with local Korean flavours. Besides that the fest featured experiential attractions like facemask painting, Hangeul calligraphy, traditional Korean games, virtual reality zone and photo-op booth for visitors to get themselves clicked wearing the traditional Korean Hanbok dress.
As Korean cosmetics are renowned worldwide, with some of them being introduced in India and beginning to gain popularity, a K-beauty zone by famous Korean brand Innisfree offered free make up sessions and samples to the visitors.
“Korea and India has a lot in common. Just like Indians have the tradition of tying threads around trees while praying, Koreans write their wishes and tie them to a wishing tree while praying to their almighty,” said Vanshika Kapoor, PR manager, Korea Tourism Organisation.
The event also marked the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) between leading Korean companies like LG, Hyundai, Samsung and KTO, with an aim to promote tourism through organising MICE travels to Korea for their employees and dealers.
“Korea tourism is entering a new dimension. Travelling to Korea for Indians is getting more favourable with increased flight connectivity and competitive costs. With increased numbers of Indian travellers to Korea, we are slowly getting more adaptive to their travel requirements,” said Jong Sool Kwon, director, Korea Tourism Organisation India.
“Pyeongchang is hosting the Winter Olympics Games 2018 and is also emerging as a top winter destination in Asia. The festival was a great platform for us to communicate on all that Korea has to offer to its travellers,” he added.
Post the success of the event, the Seoul Metropolitan Government also organised an interactive ‘Seoul Culture Gallery in New Delhi’ at the mall from December 1-3, offering spectators an opportunity to experience life in Seoul through a Korean food zone, Han River Park, VR experiences, Seoul photo zone, Seoulite gallery, colouring Seoul zone, and a wish Seoul zone, amongst other activities, to let people experience various aspects of the city through different cultural portrays.
Additionally, in a bid 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. The language agents greet and assist passengers at arrival gates where flights from Mumbai and New Delhi arrive.
“We operate flights from Delhi to Korea and vice-versa five times a week. Korean air has been operating from Delhi to Seoul for one year now, and we have our first anniversary party this December. If travels to Korea develop further in Indian market, we have plans to increase the frequency,” Sang Wook Han (Paul), regional manager Delhi – India, Korean Air, told MIG.