A group of Korean tourists in the Canary Islands.
source: europa press

Korean Tourism Comes to the Canary Islands

The Tourism Institute of Spain (Turespaña), through its Tourism Officein Japan responsible for the Korean and Taiwanese markets, has jointly organized with Promotur Turismo de Canarias, Tourism of Tenerife, and Tourism of Lanzarote a fam trip for Korean travel agents to the Canary Islands, specifically to Lanzarote and Tenerife, from July 3rd to 12th.

Turespaña’s marketing strategy for the Korean tourism market for the year 2023 is primarily based on the recovery of tourist flows at the pre-pandemic growth rate and the opening of new destination offerings, such as the Canary Islands.

A group of Korean tourists in the Canary Islands.
source: europa press

The familiarization trip includes the participation of five highly relevant Korean travel agencies in relation to the Spanish destination, not only in general tourism but also specialized, for example, in premium tourism and FIT. The attractionsof the Canary Islands are very diverse and perfectly tailored to the general taste of Korean tourists: historical and cultural heritage (including those recognized by UNESCO), nature, gastronomy and oenology, as well as the appeal of Canary Islands resort tourism.

In addition to visits to the main urban and natural tourist attractions of the mentioned islands, the familiarization trip includes whale and dolphin watching, stargazing, visits to Canary Islands banana plantations, visits to restaurants and wineries with tastings of local wines, tours of gardens, monuments, the César Manrique Foundation, beach tours, and in-depth knowledge of the extraordinary hotel, dining, and transportation offerings in the Canary Islands.

Definitive relaunch of the Korean market After the historical record of 2019, when 630,000 Koreans visited Spain, in 2022 and despite the maintenance of certain border restrictions in South Korea, a total of 180,000 Koreans decided to travel to Spain, spending 322.6 million euros and with anaverage stay of 7.7 nights.

Since October of last year, flight and accommodation searches have grown exponentially. Between January and April 2023, the data reflects the visit of 100,000 Koreans, a growth of 316.7% compared to the same period last year, confirming Spain as the most sought-after European destination by Korean tourists.

Connectivity between South Korea and Spain has increased with 10 regular weekly flights to Madrid and Barcelona, as well as an additional 30 operations planned for the season between September and December, which indicates a rapid recovery of the flow of Korean tourism to Spain. With a probable movement of new travelers from this incredible country,l et’s look at how businesses in the Canary Islands can learn a little more about the Korean culture. 

Here are 10 Interesting Facts About Korea and Korean Culture for Canary Islands Businesses and Residents:

1. Korean cuisine offers a diverse range of flavors and is renowned worldwide. Popular dishes include kimchi (fermented vegetables), bulgogi (marinated grilled meat), and bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables and meat).

Kimchi

2.Taekkyeon, a Korean martial art, is widely practiced and has gained global recognition for its dynamic kicks and techniques.

Men doing exercises

3. Korea places a strong emphasis on respect for elders and Confucian values, which shapesocial interactions and relationships.

The face of the statue of Confucius

4. The bow of respect is an important cultural practice in Korea. The lower the bow, the greater the respect shown and there are even “Bowing Competitions” in some reality shows.

A young married couple bowing to an elder in a classic Korean room interior

5. Korean people prioritize high-quality food. When visiting a Korean, it is more appreciated to bring a good quality beef or fruit rather than traditional gifts like flowers and chocolates.

6. Koreans are known for being big traditionalists and highly value their cultural heritage.They often veer towards local traditions and superstitions rather than international trends.

Women dancing Buchaechum
source: Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism of Korea. in this image korean women perform a traditional dance Buchaechum (Fan Dance)

7. Religion in Korea is diverse and there isn’t an official religion. Many Koreans are not religious and holidays like Christmas were not widely celebrated until the mid to late 20thcentury due to religious concerns.

8. Koreans place a significant emphasis on self-care and their social image. Various self-treatments like spa visits, body, facial massages, and skincare routines are popular ways to care for oneself.

A man taking a bath in bubble water. He puts his face above the surface of the water

9. K-pop (Korean pop music) is a special genre of music that has gained immense popularity worldwide. Many Korean solo artists and groups, under big entertainment companies, create a mix of Korean and English music. Asking about someone’s favorite K-pop group is agreat conversation starter.

K-pop performance

10. Gaming is a serious hobby in Korea, and some of the most popular and well-known figures in the country are gamers. Gaming festivals, competitions, and professional gamingt eams are major attractions, reflecting the significance of gaming culture in Korea.

E-sports logos
source: Korea E sports association

As businesses and residents in the Canary Islands eagerly prepare to welcome Korean tourism, the secaptivating insights into Korea and its vibrant culture serve as a bridge connecting two diverse destinations. From the delectable flavors of Korean cuisine to the discipline of Taekwondo, the emphasison respect for elders, and the enchanting world of K-pop, there is a wealth of experiences awaiting both locals and visitors. As the doors open to new cultural exchanges and enriching encounters, the fusion of Canary Islands’ charm and the allure of Korean culture promises an unforgettable journey of discoveryand shared appreciation. So, let us embrace the spirit of cultural exchange and embark on a path of unity and celebration as the Canary Islands prepare to warmly welcome Korean travelers to its shores.

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