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Outbound travel in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

A record number of around 28.71 million outbound trips were made by South Koreans in 2019. With increasing wealth, the industry has been growing since the country recovered from the financial crisis in 2008. Due to the geographical location and closed borders to North Korea, travel abroad is only possible by either plane or ship. The leading means of transportation are planes, while most South Koreans choose Incheon Airport for their travel abroad.

Who is travelling?

Travelling abroad is a luxury more and more South Koreans enjoy. According to survey in 2019, around 34 percent of South Koreans in their thirties were traveling abroad within the previous year. The share of South Koreans traveling abroad was especially high for households with an income of six million South Korean won and above. The average person traveling abroad spent around one thousand U.S. dollars, adding up to a total expenditure of around 28.9 million U.S. dollars in 2019. The average travel length was around 4.8 days.

Trip organizing

Travel packages are a popular product among South Koreans traveling abroad – according to a survey, around 76.4 percent stated that they have bought a travel package, most of them being all-inclusive packages. As the group size when traveling abroad increases with age, especially older travelers enjoy the convenience of group travel. The leading travel agency in South Korea is HanaTour, with around 5.14 million customers traveling abroad in 2019.

Partly due its proximity to South Korea, the leading travel destination for South Koreans was Japan in 2018. According to customer distribution data by HanaTour, around 41 percent of their customers travel to South East Asia. The leading reasons for choosing their travel destination were the sights and how well known the destination was. Travelers were often using information from friends and websites as their leading source for information when traveling.

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Outbound travel in South Korea

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