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Singapore And Korea Join Hands To Increase International Visitors Between Busan And Singapore.

18-member Singapore travel trade delegation meets South Korean counterparts in 5-day visit to Busan.

Changi Airport Group (CAG), Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have joined forces to promote outbound and inbound traffic between Singapore and Busan in South Korea.

This was announced at 5pm today in Busan at a media conference attended by representatives from the three agencies, as well as officials from Busan City, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and members of the travel trade.

A delegation of 18 members of Singapore’s travel trade, comprising key tourism partners NATAS, inbound travel agents, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, are in Busan on a 5-day visit to establish relations with their South Korean counterparts.

The joint initiative marks the start of an important exchange platform for the travel trade partners from Busan and Singapore, aimed at driving tourism between both destinations.

KTO and STB will undertake the marketing and promotion of Busan and Singapore respectively, and facilitate exchange between travel agents, ground operators and attractions in each destination.

KTO has invited eight travel agencies from Singapore to meet key Busan tourism partners to discuss business development. Thereafter, the travel agents will be sent on a familiarisation tour of Busan City and Gyeongsangbuk Province.

Mr Steve Yong, Korea Tourism Organization’s Director, Singapore Office, says, “Every year, almost 100,000 visitors from Singapore visit Korea. The majority of them visit Seoul city, Gyeonggi Province, Gangwon Province and Jeju Province. With more people travelling to Korea each year comes demand for greater choice and availability. Busan city is Korea’s second largest city after Seoul but it is a relatively new and undiscovered destination for the Singapore market.

Through this tourism development initiative, we are inviting representatives from key travel agencies and media from Singapore to discover the attractions and meet perspective tourism partners in Busan and its vicinity. We hope this will pave the way for more new tour packages covering this area and public awareness through media publicity. This initiative will create mutual economic and tourism benefits for both countries.”

With South Korea consistently amongst Singapore’s top 12 visitor source markets for the past ten years, Mr Chew Tiong Heng, Director of Destination Marketing at the Singapore Tourism Board said, “South Korea is an important market for Singapore and Busan holds much untapped market potential. Currently, we see an annual average of more than 300,000 visitors from South Korea. With Singapore’s concentration of attractions and new additions of top class experiences such as Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, we aim to see this number grow. We believe that the people of Busan will find Singapore an even more compelling destination than before, whether they are looking for family entertainment, an exciting nightlife or delectable culinary experience.”

He added that this trade delegation is a timely first step for the two cities to work together. “In the coming months, we will be launching more trade initiatives to lay the groundwork for a strong tourism industry between both cities. These include regular product update sessions on Singapore, discussions with Busan’s outbound agents, and a trade familiarisation trip to Singapore for the Busan travel trade later this year.”

CAG will also collaborate with travel industry partners to drive traffic to and from Busan. Together with KTO and STB, CAG will monitor the ensuing traffic, as well as engage airlines in both Singapore and Korea on the viability of direct scheduled air services between Singapore and Busan.

“Following the success of the charter flights between Busan and Singapore in January and February this year, CAG believes there is great potential for direct air links from Changi Airport to South Korea’s second largest city. We hope this collaboration with KTO and STB will further drive passenger traffic and lead to direct scheduled air services being launched, enhancing economic and social ties between the two cities,” says Mr Lim Ching Kiat, CAG’s Director for Market Development.

During their visit, the Singapore delegates will visit various Busan city attractions and also share their perspective of Singapore’s attractions with their South Korean counterparts.

Mr Robert Khoo, CEO of NATAS says, “We believe that this collaboration could not have come at a better time as we are constantly encouraging the development of new destinations for the growth of the local tourism industry. Travel agents should make use of this opportunity to develop their businesses further. At the same time, we look forward to an increase in the exchange of tourist visits between Busan and Singapore.”

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