South Korea announced today that it will exempt tourists from 22 countries, including the United States or Japan, from presenting a mandatory travel permit to visit the country, among other measures aimed at promoting tourism.
The South Korean Executive has set the goal of attracting 10 million foreign visitors this year, with a view to revitalizing domestic consumption and the national economy, which has been weighed down by the pandemic and the global slowdown.
The number of foreign tourists reached a record 17.5 million in 2019, generating related revenue estimated at $20.7 billion, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.
However, the influx of visitors plummeted in 2020 due to the pandemic and picked up slightly in 2021 and 2022 to reach 3.19 million this past year.
South Korea currently requires an electronic travel authorization (called a K-ETA) that can be applied for online for travelers from 110 countries on the tourist visa-exempt list, including Peru (90 days).
Starting at the end of next year, the South Korean authorities will allow tourist visitors from 22 of those countries to travel to their territory. without the need to obtain that electronic permit.
Seoul also plans to reapply visa waivers for transit passengers from 34 countries, including all members of the European Union and the United States, allowing them to stay for up to 30 days.
In addition, the entry conditions for groups of travelers coming from China, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesiaand the number of international flights will increase to the level prior to the pandemic.
The flights from China they will increase from the current 63 per week to 954 for September, while those from Japan, currently 863 per week, will increase to 1,004. These two aforementioned countries are the ones that have brought the most tourists to South Korea in recent years.
Other measures announced to boost tourism internally include discount and subsidy programs for domestic travelers.
Travelers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macao, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States (including Guam) are those who will be able to enter South Korea without obtaining a permit online through the Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA). The exemption will start on April 1, 2023, according to the K-ETA website, and will end on December 31, 2024.
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