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South Korea

Market overview

Korea is New Zealand’s third largest international visitor market in Asia. Tourism New Zealand works with travel trade to develop a greater focus on mono-destination travel, in particular targeting Independent professional (IP) and Free Independent Traveller (FIT).

Tourism New Zealand is focused encouraging travel to New Zealand in the shoulder seasons (autumn and spring) and travel to our regions – spreading the benefit of tourism across the country and throughout the year.

Tourism New Zealand organises and participates in a number of offshore training and networking events with travel sellers each year which New Zealand regions and operators can take part in. See our event calendar for more information. 

Key insights 

  • Korea has one of the most-travelled populations in the world, and outbound numbers are increasing so it has big opportunities for New Zealand. 
  • Last year New Zealand welcomed almost 90,000 Korean visitors who spent a combined $277 million across the country.
  • A large majority of Korean holiday visitors travel to New Zealand on pre-arranged group or semi-structured tour packages organised by travel agents, but online bookings through OTAs are continuously increasing by IP and FIT.
  • Koreans are interested in New Zealand for our landscapes, scenery, clean environment, and local food and wine. They are looking for the place where they can relax and enjoy, rather than travel around.
  • The trend towards ‘solo travel’ among South Korean travellers is expected to continue rising, with travel agents are competing to release products targeting single travellers.

Marketing and trade activity

Tourism New Zealand is targeting South Koreans actively considering coming to New Zealand through integrated campaigns. This includes a core joint venture programme with Korean Air and travel agents targeting shoulder seasons and introducing ‘undiscovered’ regions.

New Zealand marketing is focused on growing preference for seasonal and theme travels, supporting TV broadcast and other PR opportunities to leverage growing interest in New Zealand. Tourism New Zealand is also working with key trade partners to support holiday travel to New Zealand.

New Zealand has been showcased through several TV programs, including ‘The Fishermen and the City’ and ‘Running Man’.

Airline activity

Korean Air, only direct flight from Korea to New Zealand, operates between four and seven services each week. Air New Zealand provides one-stop connection services via Japan or China. Singapore Airlines operate daily to both the North and South Island via Singapore.

More information

Exchange rates: www.xe.com

GDP growth: www.economist.com

For more information on the Korean economy view the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Korean market guide.