ABTA – The Travel Association has launched its Travel Trends 2020 report and has chosen South Korea as one of its top 12 destinations to watch next year. Independently selected by ABTA’s experts, inclusion is based on a range of factors such as those that are tapping into consumer behaviours, major events and celebrations, and areas that are experiencing a revival.
Travel Trends 2020 provides holidaymakers with ideas and inspiration to help them find their destination of choice. The report looks at market information and consumer insights, revealing five key trends: the rise of slow travel; travel agents meeting the demand for digital customer service; electric aviation takes flight; touring gets the personalised treatment; and an increased focus on the environmental impacts of tourism, which are expected to shape people’s holiday choices in 2020. It also identifies people continue to be committed to taking holidays and the desire to get a value-for-money break is also expected to influence holiday decisions over the next 12 months.
South Korea has been picked as a top destination to watch by ABTA for the following reasons:
A stunning country at the cutting edge of film, music and food
- South Korea is already a leading cultural power in the Far East but its reach is going global driven by world-class films and food and the blockbuster phenomenon of K-pop.
- The capital Seoul is a vibrant, modern and bustling city but do not forget to visit a traditional tea room in the Insadong district and the “Secret Garden” or “Huwon” at Changdeokgung Palace for a taste of old Korea.
- For something different, head for the Boryeong Mud Festival, or a noraebang, Korean karaoke, before both of which you may need to top up with the local tipple, Makgeolli – milky rice wine.
- Spring is a great time of year to visit with the cherry trees in bloom and celebrated in blossom festivals such as those in Gyeongju and Jinhae. It will also be when Europe’s first direct flight to Busan launches, with Finnair flying from Helsinki from March 2020.
- Korea’s coast is dotted with over three thousand lovely islands, well connected with ferries that make for a relaxing trip at leisure.
- Go to Jeongdongjin, a village with a ship converted into a hotel on a hill and a North Korean spy submarine. The spectacular fortress of Gongsanseong and Korea’s most traditional city Gyeongju are also both must visit attractions.
- Korean food is also on a mission to take over the world and it can be a lot of fun, particularly the cook your own (Korean BBQ) meat like Galbi.
- Pickles feature strongly, especially cabbage – the ubiquitous kimchi – which nutritionists are increasingly aware of being important for building up healthy stomach flora.
- Finally, check out Gangnam, not just a dance – it is the posh kids’ district of Seoul.
Sang Min Lee, Director of the London office of the Korea Tourism Organization, said, ‘We are delighted that ABTA has chosen Korea as one of its top destinations to watch for 2020. Korea’s perfect balance of tradition and modernity makes it a destination like no other, with attractions like the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors from the UK next year and beyond.’
Victoria Bacon, ABTA Director of Brand and Business Development, said: ‘The 12 destinations in this year’s report are a great example of the wide range of experiences and destinations on offer around the world, all readily accessible from the UK.
‘Historic cities, idyllic beaches, rugged landscapes, delicious cuisines and above all welcoming people characterise our choices and we hope they will provide some inspiration for holidaymakers looking to travel somewhere a little different but also very special in 2020.’
Further information about the ABTA Travel Trends 2020 report can be found here.