Despite MERS Disruption, CDN Travel To Korea Holds Steady
Korean inbound tourism from
Canada enjoyed a strong start and end to the year 2015, with some difficult
times in the middle.
“We were having a very good
year, but immediately turned to panic for the travel industry as the 1st
case of MERS was reported” said Doojo Kim, Director for the Korea Tourism
Organization Toronto Office.
The 1st case of
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was confirmed in May, 2015 and
significantly impacted the travel market in the 2nd half of the
“July showed a 26.2% drop
year over from the Canadian market alone so we had to act fast,” said
The KTO invested heavily in a
tourism recovery plan to gain back travellers' confidence. The campaign proved
effective and brought in a growth of Canadian arrivals late in the year, with
2015 ending with only a slight decrease of 0.6% from the year before for a
total 145,547 Canadian visitors.
With the MERS situation
resolved, arrivals to Korea are expected to climb once again. Kim is optimistic
for 2016. "Last year had some unexpected news, but we really appreciate
our industry partners for all their efforts in promoting Korea. They are the
reason that Canadian arrivals picked up steam late in the year. In 2016, we are
also pleased to announce that Korean Air and Air Canada are offering daily
non-stop service from Toronto to Seoul beginning June 1st and June 17th
respectively. We will continue to work closely with all the partners to develop
more travel packages geared toward the Canadian market."