Sunghee Joo, Director General, Paris Office, Korea Tourism Organization, in an exclusive interview with Apratim Ghoshal, Editor, Travel And Tour World, in Madrid, Spain, speaks about Korea as an attractive destination with modern and high quality MICE infrastructure and its relation with Spain as a partner country for FITUR 2020.
Travel And Tour World: What is the main objective to be the partner country for FITUR this year?
Sunghee Joo: This is the 70th year of the first diplomatic relation between South Korea and Spain. Both the countries have designated this year and next year as a Spain -Korea mutual visit year and to be the host country of FITUR is the first project of the year.
Travel And Tour World: What will be the activities held throughout the year?
Sunghee Joo: We will have a big Korean wave event in Barcelona, there will be BTS concert in Barcelona this year July where we will promote Korea as a tourist destination and the Korean Tourism products in the Spanish market this year and next year.
Travel And Tour World: Tell us the statistics for tourists coming from Europe to Korea? Which are the main countries from where tourists are coming?
Sunghee Joo: UK, France , Germany and Spain are the main market.
Travel And Tour World: How much is the total inbound tourist from Europe throughout the year?
Sunghee Joo: Around one million .
Travel And Tour World: Why you chose Spain as a country to promote Korea?
Sunghee Joo: As I told you 2020 is the 70th year of relation between Spain and Korea that is why we started to do the marketing in Spain.
Travel And Tour World: Which are the main places of Korea you wish to promote?
Sunghee Joo: Seoul, Busan and Jeju
Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the MICE events in the countries and what are the reservation for 2020?
Sunghee Joo: There are many MICE opportunities in Korea, Seoul and Busan , we have many convention centres all over Korea. We host unique events and have the capacity of accommodating 20,000 people which is the biggest group.
Travel And Tour World: Besides Seoul which is the main big city for hosting the MICE events and which are the new destination you wish to add?
Sunghee Joo: We wish to promote Kintex which is very near to Seoul and we have hosted a lot of events there.
Travel And Tour World: What is your expectations as the partner country for Fitur?
Sunghee Joo: We want to promote Korea as a tourist destination in Spain, in recent years the growth rate of Spanish visitors to Korea is more than 10% and we expect by 2025 the Spanish visitors to Korea would be more than 70,000.