On 7-9 June Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) Tourism Department and Riga Tourism Development Bureau LIVE Riga representatives in close cooperation with the Latvian Embassy in Seoul participated in the largest travel expo in Korea HANATOUR International Travel Show 2019.
This was the third time for Latvia to take part in this show by building a national booth equipped with tourism related information in Korean language, videos, knowledgeable staff and Latvian sweets. The booth was well attended and many tourists asked questions about best sites to visit and experience in Latvia, the shortest connections, prices and the most delicious dishes to be tasted in Latvia.
Travelers who have already visited Latvia in previous years asked about tips for the repeat visit. At the same time, Korean tourism industry representatives highly praised direct charter flight program establishment this year in which 3 direct charter flights were executed by Korean flag carrier Korean Air on 24, 31 May and 7 June taking around 700 Korean tourists to Latvian capital city Riga. The program was organized by one the leading tourism agencies HANJIN TRAVEL with the support of LIAA, Live Riga, Riga International Airport and the Latvian Embassy in Seoul.
On 7 June, the Latvian Embassy in cooperation with LIAA and LIVE Riga for the first time organized a special Latvian tourism briefing for Korean tourism media and bloggers. Briefing was opened by the Ambassador Peteris Vaivars who emphasized unique Latvian tourism offers along the rise of Latvia’s awareness in Korea thanks to mutual officials’ visits, cooperation projects, Latvian culture events in Korea and Korean media interest about Latvia.
LIAA Tourism Department project manager Ms. Laila Abena delivered a presentation on Latvian wide tourism opportunities with a special emphasis on the content which has a special interest from Korean media side.
The presenter also underlined previous Korean media visits in Latvia, especially TV programs on KBS and MBC. After travel programs were aired on TV, the name of Latvia was among top searched words on Korea’s main portal Naver. Live Riga representative Ms. Zane Kursīte explained about Riga tourism offers and Riga’s unique culture and historic heritage. Riga is also a place where many interesting culture and sports events take place. Also, thanks to its convenient geographic location, it is easily reachable from Korea and is a great place from where to travel around Latvia and beyond.
Number of Korean tourists in Latvia and Baltic States is increasing steadily. More than 10 000 Korean tourists have stayed in Latvia in 2018 and our aim is to reach 20 000 level in the near future by approaching Korean travelers interested in our region through Korean tourism media and travel agencies. Half of Korean population which consists of 50 million people, every year cross country borders to travel abroad. Until now, the main travel destinations were in the neighboring countries, however recent trend shows that more and more travelers are interested to explore new destinations and we see more Korean travelers opening new travelling horizons in Europe, including Latvia. According to the opinion of the Korean tourism experts and visitors who have already travelled to our country, Latvia is a prospective new travel destination for Korean travelers in Europe.
Latvian Embassy in Seoul would like to extend its gratitude to LIAA Tourism Department, Riga Tourism Development Bureau LIVE Riga and all Latvian tourism industry representatives for active promotion of Latvian tourism offers in Korea and receiving an increasing number of Korean travelers in Latvia.