Korea has been a popular destination for Chinesecompanies treating their clients and employees to an incentive holiday.
But with growing tensions over the deploymentof a U.
missile defense system to the peninsula, Korea is bracing for a decline in the numberof incentive tourists from China this year.
Oh Soo-young tells us more.
Feasts of chicken and beer inspired by thepopular Korean drama "My Love from the Star" have been a hit with Chinese companies bringingmassive numbers of employees to Korea as part of incentive holiday packages.
But with an anticipated decline in the numberof Chinese incentive tourists on the horizon, "chimaek" parties on the same scale couldsoon be on hold.
Some 130-thousand employees of Chinese corporationsvisited Korea last year, often thousands at a time,.
making up roughly 60 percent ofKorea's incentive tourism industry.
However, the Korea Tourism Organization saysthat with Beijing's opposition to Seoul's decision to deploy an American missile defensesystem on its soil, the resulting fallout is likely to wipe out the number of incentivetourists from China by 20 percent from last year.
At the same time, however, the number of incentivetourists from Southeast Asian countries is expected to grow to 160-thousand this year– a 20 percent increase from 2016.
Some 11-hundred employees from an Indonesiancosmetics giant are making a visit this month,.
and in March, upwards of 800 incentive touristsfrom a Singaporean nutrition company will vacation in Korea.
To accommodate the recent change in tourismdynamics, Korea is looking to diversify its incentive holiday programs by shifting awayfrom the kinds of mega-scale events that were designed for large groups of Chinese clients.
The KTO said it will work to develop distinctivemarketing strategies and customized programs to attract tourists from Southeast Asia, Japan,the Middle East and the Americas.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.