Our marketing and sales programs invite South Korean travellers to see and experience Canada in a whole new way. Whether we launch an integrated marketing campaign, conduct travel trade shows, or bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories and tourism experiences, our initiatives target three major audiences:
We focus on three key consumer groups based on CTC’s Explorer Quotient®(EQ®) types:
- Free Spiritsin South Korea are predominantly 18 to 30 years old and come to Canada to get away from their real life—to indulge and pamper themselves in ways they can’t at home while being spontaneous.
- Cultural History Buffsin South Korea are between 20 and 45 years old; their fascination for history as well as the modern cultures of the places they visit guides their travel decisions. This group tends to travel independently.
- Personal History Explorersin South Korea are over 40 years old and driven by history as well as by the modern cultures of the places they visit. They prefer to travel as part of a group.
We reach these consumers through a range of integrated marketing communications, including partnering for online events, consumer shows, media activities, advertisingand websites. We also work with a wide variety of non-traditional partners to launch innovative campaigns such as the SNS Influencer Program andthe Canada Culinary promotion with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Consumer websites and marketing campaigns
Consumer campaigns build awareness of and demand for Canadian experiences together with destination marketing partners and key trade accounts. Media relations, public relations, social media and online marketing efforts are coordinated to ensure that consumers are first aware of Canada and finally moved to buy a trip. Travellers are encouraged to distribute their own content, ratings and reviews on social networks, so that the CTC can leverage this advocacy to influence other travellers in their decision-making.
The 2012 fall/winter campaign 2012 was divided into two phases to avoid the presidential election in December: Oct. 8 to Nov. 18, 2012 and Dec. 24, 2012 to Jan. 27, 2013. Partners helping to promote winter holidays included Tourism British Columbia, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and Air Canada.
Bimonthly e-newsletters are distributed annually to 78,000consumers, 252 trade and 279 mediareps in CTC-South Korea’s database.
Consumer trade show
HANATOUR International Travel Show
The annual B2B/B2C marketplace at Ilsan KINTEX, Goyang city, Gyeonggi, features more than 300 sellers and 347 booths.It takes place May 24-26, 2013.
The annual B2B/B2C marketplace at Busan BEXCO, Busan Metropolitan, is the biggest travel fair in Busan, the second-largest South Korean city. It will take place over four days in September 2013.
For more events, check out our Trade Shows & Events section.
CTC’s trade development initiatives in South Korea focus on the retail and wholesale aspects of selling travel.
CTC-South Korea has now contracted with HANATOUR and MODETOUR, the top two wholesale companies in South Korea, and rolled out EQ®-converted products and marketing with these partners. CTC-South Korea also contracted with two FIT (fully independent travel) companies, Segyero and Pharos Travelartifax, to develop more FIT products for South Koreans.
Since the successful launch of the Canadian Signature Experiences collection (CSE) in March 2012, CTC-South Korea has focused on encouraging the travel trade to utilize the collection for their product development by educating and/or supporting them in various ways, such as through brochure production.
Canada Specialist Program
The Canada Specialist Program(CSP) continues to help South Korean travel professionals learn about Canada’s distinct experiences by offering engaging training programs, interactive online resources and expert, inside knowledge.
Participating travel agents are offered a range of information and support, including:
- Certified training programs and testing
- Conferences and seminars
- Familiarization (FAM) trips
- Tools and training manuals
- Canada Specialist websites and e-newsletters.
In Seoul, CTC-South Korea organizes trade shows, conducts sales calls, organizes tour operator familiarization (FAM) tours to partner provinces and cities, and conducts training under the Canada Specialist Program.CSP’s Level 2 online programwas launched this pastFebruary. The CTC-South Korea team continues to work with a second market in Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea, through training and sales calls.
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
CTC-South Korea assists the media with partnered press trips, media events and hosting media travel to Canadian destinations. We also pitch targeted story ideas to media influencers.We opened an online Korean language Media Centre in March 2012 where South Korean media can get story ideas to promote Canada.
CTC’s social-media strategy focuses on igniting advocacy for Canada. Consumers can join in our conversations in the following ways.
- Visit Facebook: The “Exploring Canada” Facebook page receives constant photo submissions from fans. Industry partners can post their photos to our wall.There were more than 25,000 fans by mid-December 2012.
- Follow our consumer Twitter account: tag tweets with #ExploreCanada and we will retweet our favourites.
- CTC-South Korea ran an influential blogger program, the SNS Influencer Program, which created content and boosted advocacy for Canada. We are now open to proposals for partnerships in this program in 2013.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
South Korean media participate in the CTC’s annual media event, GoMedia Canada Marketplace, where Canadian travel operators exchange stories and ideas with international media. This event is held annually in Canada with a different hosting destination each year. In 2012, GoMedia took place in Whitehorse, YK, May 27-31; five print media and one TV rep from South Korea participated in the event.
The next GoMedia Canada Marketplace will take place in Charlottetown, PEI, Sept. 8-12, 2013.
|Inbound travel to Canada from South Korea|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||172.7||188.5||187.4||172.8||131.3||157.5|
|Year to year change||5.1%||9.2%||-0.6%||-7.8%||-24.0%||20.0%*|
|Year to year change||6.3%||9.6%||1.6%||0.4%||-21.8%||18.1%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
· After a 6.3% expansion in 2010, South Korea’s economy slowed in 2011, with GDP growth of 3.6% resulting from a decrease in exports as well as weaker domestic spending. (Source: Oxford Economics, July 2012)
· Despite weaker consumer confidence led by the economic slowdown, as well as concerns over other global crises in Japan, the eurozone and the Middle East, overall outbound travel in 2011 grew by 1.6% over 2010. (Source: Korea Tourism Organization)
· Overnight arrivals to Canada from South Korea fell 11% in 2011, largely caused by a 29% dip in leisure travel for “other reasons,” a category that includes study and education-related travel, which accounted for almost 30% of total arrivals from this country.
· In contrast, pleasure travel saw an 8.5% increase over 2010, which accounted for approximately 19% of overall South Korean arrivals.
· Total travel spending in Canada shrank 10.4%, falling to $230 million in 2011. On average, South Koreans spent more than 27 days in Canada, spending $60 per night.
· Almost 28% of travellers to Canada from South Korea were 24 years of age or younger, the highest proportion among CTC’s key markets and presumably driven by a robust student market.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated. All Statistics Canada numbers are preliminary.
South Korea has emerged as a significant country for outbound tourism, with 12.7million out of a population of 48.6 million travelling overseas in 2011. A report on Global Travel News on Dec. 17, 2012, anticipated a new record high in 2012 of more than 13 million. Hanatour, the No. 1 tour operator in South Korea, has reported about 40% growth over 2011.
Canada's image in the South Korean market is positive. Canada is well regarded for its natural beauty and vibrant outdoors, and has a strong reputation for excellence in education, overall quality of life, safety and cultural diversity. South Koreans also appreciate Canadians' concern for the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living.
South Korean travellers to Canada are slightly older, educated and established professionals who travel in medium-size groups. Many have family in Canada.
Travel patterns indicate that a growing number of South Koreans are moving away from group cross-Canada packages to semi-independent travel. Increasing numbers ofKoreans are now travelling independently, pursuing their interests in wellness, nature and trekking. In light of this, travel agents in South Korea are focusing on developing fully independent travel (FIT) products for those who want to take control of their itineraries.
Guided by the CTC corporate strategy, the South Korea strategy focuses on high-yield travellers—consumers who spend more, stay longer and are less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.
There is a noticeable late-booking trend among tour operators and airlines. Consumers are becoming more price-sensitive and are waiting until last-minute sales for tickets or products.
The presidential election on December 19 was a factor in restricting the overseas travel of South Koreans in Q4 2012.
According to a 2012 survey by an advertising company regarding South Korean consumers’ lifestyle, “healing” is one of the key words in terms of consumption. Of those surveyed, just under 50% said they would travel whenever allowed, and 49.6% don’t hesitate to spend money for their health.
SM Entertainment, a major entertainment management company that is leading global K-pop fever, has acquired a travel company, its first venture into the tourism business.
Contact our team for more information.
Canadian Tourism Commission
1004 Leema Bldg.,
Seoul 110-755, Republic of Korea
byun [dot] don [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Don H. Byun)
Managing Director, South Korea
lee [dot] stella [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Stella Lee)
Marketing and Sales Manager, South Korea