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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh, South Korea explore opportunities in tourism

Choi said the market held more potential as last year more than 17,000 arrivals in South Korea were from Bangladesh 

Update : 21 Aug 2020, 04:40 PM

Tour operators from Bangladesh and South Korea at a webinar have discussed ways to explore tourism opportunities, highlighting the scopes that South Korea offers.  

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), in association with TravTalk, hosted the webinar on Tuesday, shedding light on Korea’s beautiful regions that would be ideal for travellers, said a media release on Friday.  

The first-ever webinar by KTO for the Bangladesh trade that saw the presence of Young Geul Choi, deputy director at KTO’s New Delhi Office, was led by Sandeep Dutta, marketing manager, KTO New Delhi Office and Md Rafeuzzaman, president of Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), governing body member, Bangladesh Tourism Board, and chairman, FBCCI Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism, as speakers. 

Choi said the market held more potential as last year more than 17,000 arrivals in South Korea were from Bangladesh (an 11% growth over 2018’s numbers).  

“We think the potential for travel in the future is much bigger, which is why we decided to organize this product training to update the Bangladesh travel industry about South Korea’s latest tourism products," he said. 

He said Korea is one of the few countries to have successfully managed the Covid-19 outbreak and that is why Bangladesh trade will be able to recommend South Korea to their clients with confidence once travel begins. 

In fact, Choi added, KTO looks forward to organizing a roadshow in Bangladesh next year with DMCs, hotels and other partners as soon as travel resumes.  

Insights on the uniqueness of South Korea 

Besides updating the trade about Korea’s most beautiful and scenic locales, Dutta, in his presentation, provided insights on the uniqueness of the country’s food and culture.  

He said one of the best things about South Korea is the availability of Halal and Muslim-friendly food.  

Dutta said it is already a very big market for tourism from some of the other Muslim countries in Asia and infrastructure has been developed for Muslim-friendly and Halal food.  

"This is perfect for the Bangladesh market as well because the cuisine is quite similar to what they offer and it is enjoyable and palatable for the Bangladesh audience. There are more than 100 Halal and Muslim-friendly restaurants in South Korea,” he added.  

Sharing another tip for agents getting groups to South Korea, Dutta said: “There is a very interesting way in which South Korea promotes its traditional dress – the Hanbok – in tourism. If you are wearing the Korean traditional costume, which is easily available to rent all over the city and at tourist sites, you do not have to pay for the entrance ticket while visiting a monument or palace.” 

Providing an insight on what makes South Korea a lucrative destination to travel to from Bangladesh, Rafeuzzaman said: “South Korea offers everything a traveller could want in a destination." 

He said it has a long and fascinating history, a wonderful culture, amazing food, friendly people and excellent infrastructure.  

"It also has one of the most unique attractions in the world that can be visited – the Korean Demilitarized Zone (which separates North and South Korea),” he added.  

Rafeuzzaman also urged his fellow tour operators and industry colleagues to promote South Korea as a new destination from Bangladesh, which could prove to be a very good source market for the former.  

“For outbound tourism from Bangladesh, it is a very good opportunity to click business and choose destination Korea,” he added

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