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Outbound travel in South Korea - statistics & facts

Overseas travel is a hobby and a dream for many South Koreans, although it was largely impossible to do so amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country during the previous year. While South Korea is geographically part of the Korean peninsula, the closed borders of North Korea mean that effectively the nation is similar to an island, with no land routes available for cross-border travel. This has led to a heavily skewed use of transport for outbound travel.

How do South Korean tourists behave?

Previously, outbound tourism was booming in South Korea, with the number of outbound flights peaking before the pandemic. Nevertheless, outbound travel was considered somewhat of a luxury activity, with the number of outbound tourists showing a positive correlation to income levels. South Koreans seldom traveled alone, rather opting to travel as a couple or in a group of three. Once arriving at their destination, they would engage in a variety of activities during their stay.

How did COVID-19 impact outbound travel from South Korea?

From the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, international flights drastically decreased due to the closure of borders by many countries, which is a status quo that persists. Many South Koreans used travel package services when traveling; naturally, companies that provided such services also suffered a major hit to their business. Additionally, the costs of outbound travel dramatically increased, mainly due to the influence of COVID-19 on international travel. With the world still recovering from COVID-19, it remains to be seen as to when outbound travel will return to a more normal situation, or if such a return would be possible at all.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Outbound travel in South Korea".


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