The next edition of the International Tourism Fair, FITUR 2020, will present South Korea as its partner country. South Korea is a destination that has significantly increased its foreign visitors, and in 2018 reached 15.3 million tourists, 15.1% more than the previous year. This Asian country is also increasingly attractive to Spaniards, with 27,314 visitors last year, 17.2% more than in 2017.
South Korea’s presence as a FITUR Partner country opens up a wide scope for joint activities in the most important fields of promotion and communication at this major event for the tourism industry, organised by IFEMA, which will hold its 40th edition from 22nd to 26th January 2020 at Feria de Madrid. This Asian country and FITUR will be joining forces at an especially auspicious moment: the 70th anniversary of the beginning of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Spain.
Korea is currently Spain’s third largest inbound market in Asia, and the Korean people’s interest in Spain has grown considerably in recent years. More than 490 thousand Korean tourists visited Spain in 2018, compared to 440 thousand in 2017 and 43 thousand in 2010. Good connections, with direct flights from Seoul to Madrid and Barcelona, make it easier to travel between the two countries.
The collaboration between South Korea and FITUR will also contribute to strengthening their links by adding Korea’s brand to the International Tourism Fair, allowing this new FITUR Partner to take advantage of and make even more profitable the event’s great promotional potential. In this way, South Korea will have the best international showcase for promoting itself as a destination.
As the host country of FITUR 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea along with Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr), under the slogan “Imagine your Korea”, will showcase extensive promotional campaign towards the Spanish public. Hallyu (ola coreana) tourism, DMZ Peace tourism and Culture tourism will be just a few of many other touristic themes that will be set to stage on its 320m2 stand floor.
The ‘FITUR Partner’ initiative was set up in 2016 and offers Fair participants the opportunity to join a partner programme, enabling their communication strategy to achieve maximum visibility for their destination.
.A Modern, Attractive and Safe Destination
Located in north-east Asia, South Korea is a country with a population of nearly 52 million. Spanish visitors need their passport but not a visa. Boasting 5,000 years of history, South Korea is a very attractive and safe destination where ancient temples and historic palaces coexist side-by-side with glittering skylines of glass and steel. It has an excellent public transport network with a metro system, trains, including the KTX high speed train and buses. Its standard of living is similar to that of Spain and each of its four seasons is interesting and attractive both for climate and scenery.
This is a modern, dynamic country. Its capital Seoul, with ten million inhabitants, is a safe city, with state-of the-art technology, that never sleeps. Embracing both past and present, nature and latest technology, Seoul is now reaching beyond Asia to become a truly global city.
Busan, the country’s second metropolis, with its 3.5 million inhabitants, is a port city serving as a major logistics hub of Asia and the world. The city is not to be missed for its immense variety of touristic attractions but also its contrasting cultural heritages to the capital.
South Korea has ancient traditions and a well-preserved heritage, including ancient royal palaces, shrines and tombs, thousand-year-old Buddhist temples, Confucian academies and traditional villages. It has no less than fourteen UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Visitors can enjoy a wide diversity of landscapes across its small territory of 100,210 square kilometres. Mountains cover 70% of the country's area, and the highest peak is Mount Hallasan, at 1,950 metres. It has 18 national parks, four marine and coastal national parks, rice fields, green tea plantations and attractive beaches.
South Korea’s gastronomy is healthy and varied, and the country offers a great diversity of events and shows, such as the numerous festivals organised throughout the year. Among these are the Tea Festival, the Taekwondo Festival, and the Lotus Flower Lanterns and Ceramics Festivals.
South Korea is also a very attractive MICE destination, for which it has 13 convention centres, more than 100 venues for organising events and meetings, and numerous activities for incentive trips.
.About FITUR 2020
Organised by IFEMA, FITUR 2020 will once again be the leading international event for the tourism industry. In addition to the excellent participation forecasts, together with the positive figures from the tourism industry, this year’s will be the Fair’s 40th Anniversary, a special occasion that will mark the culmination of a whole series of initiatives already underway and whose objective is to continue FITUR’s successful, upward trend. At its last edition, FITUR brought together 10,400 participating companies with more than 253,000 attendees.
.About South Korea
South Korea is designated as a Country for Strategic Sector Action (PASE) by Spain’s Secretary of State for Trade. Korea calls for special attention as the world’s 11th largest economy by GDP, the world’s sixth largest exporter of goods and seventeenth largest exporter of services and the ninth largest importer of goods (WTO World Trade Statistical Review, 2018). Its per capita income was US$ 32,046 in 2018 (IMF WEO estimate, October 2018), with a population of increasingly sophisticated consumers with high purchasing power, and a market that is rapidly opening up to the outside world, with growing interest in Europe and an increasing demand for quality foreign products with good design and high reliability. Korea was the country with which the EU signed its first Free Trade Agreement in Asia, one that has opened up major opportunities that are increasing bilateral trade. In the industrial field, Korea is a world leader in innovation, which makes cooperation possible. Its geographical position between the other two major Far Eastern markets, also enables it to serve as a gateway.
According to ICEX, trade between Spain and Korea is growing, is diversified across sectors, and has an important intra-industry component within the global value chains of the automotive, chemical, electronics and metals sectors.