Tourism in South Korea will change focus after border opening

Tours to North Korea

South Korea is already close to restarting the tourism industry. The country is stepping up the promotion of medical and health tourism, FIT and eco-tours on the Russian market. On medical tours, clinics in Korea are already offering discounts to Russians, which can be activated after the opening of the borders.

Ekaterina Lopukhina, Marketing Director of the Moscow office of the National Korea tourism organization.


The epidemiological situation in South Korea is completely controlled by the authorities, as evidenced by the ratio of active infections (units) and the number of recovered. The latter are already more than 90% of the total number of those infected.

“In the very near future, the country will return to normal life. Already, restaurants, shopping centers are open, excursions for small groups are held. People began to travel inland. The volume of tourist trips within the country in May has already increased by 4%. Tourists and locals can use a special application to track areas that are less protected in terms of the spread of the virus on a map. Also, the country still maintains a mask regime, ”said Yekaterina Lopukhina.


All tourists who come to Korea must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Even if the virus test is negative. Moreover, this service is paid. For one day of isolation, tourists will have to pay $ 100, this amount includes food.

The timing of the return of Russian tourists will depend on the decisions of the Russian government. It is important, among other things, for Russia to declare the complete normalization of the situation in the country.

“Korea did not close its borders. But, of course, tourists will not be able to rest here in the same way as before, ”says Ekaterina Lopukhina.


It is obvious that the coronavirus will change the consumer behavior of Russians, eco-tours, health tours, in a word, tourist products with a safety mark will become much more popular. There are already proposals in Korea that meet the new requirements.

Medical tourism is one of the strategic directions in tourism in South Korea. More than 30 thousand Russians come to Korea annually to improve their health.

Tourism in South Korea will change focus after border opening

Vestnik ATOR, with the help of specialists from the PAX tour operator - one of the leading players in the North Korean direction - figured out how many tourists, where and for what they go to the DPRK, what is the cost of such tours and which of the widespread ideas about tourism in North Korea is true and what is myth.


According to the Border Service of the FSB of Russia, in 2017, 4,359 trips of Russian citizens were made to the territory of the DPRK. About three quarters (3,054) of them account for the service personnel of Russian diplomatic departments and enterprises, another 241 - for business visits.

The border service also recorded 669 private trips and a total of 395 visits by Russians to North Korea for tourism purposes. Note that since tourism in the direction exists only organized and in groups, these data can be considered accurate.

Note that both the total and the tourist outbound flow from Russia to North Korea has remained relatively small in recent years: the number of organized tourists from Russia before the crisis could reach 600-800 people a year, then declining to 350 400 people a year, the total outbound flow also fluctuated at the level of 4-5 thousand per year.

These figures look rather "pale" against the backdrop of the volume and dynamics of Russian tourist flow to neighboring South Korea (according to the National Tourism Organization of South Korea (NOTK), for the entire 2017, 270 621 Russian tourist, which is 15.7% more than in 2016.

Nevertheless, at the end of 2017, some activation of tour operators in the North Korean direction was noted. This is due, among other things, to the opening of a tourist office of this country in Russia, but to a greater extent with the desire of market players to find new niches and destinations for tourists who are tired of mass destinations.


North Korea, from the point of view of the players involved in this country, is theoretically very attractive for a certain part of tourists - due to the "forbidden fruit" (the most closed country in the world), exoticism and because of its natural beauty, which here are largely untouched by the industrial civilization.

"One of the most obvious reasons that the tourist flow to North Korea is at a very low level is politics and everything that is happening now around Korea," according to representatives of the PAX tour operator.

Further, among the reasons hindering outbound tourism to this country, market players name difficulties in obtaining a visa, an extremely limited supply even in the organized segment, and high prices for tours.

However, the latter, the market players say, is not so significant: people who are ready to visit the "reserve of communism" are willing to pay for it. As for visas, PAKS hopes that if an agreement on simplifying the visa regime is signed between Russia and the DPRK, then it can be assumed that there will be a slight increase in tourist flow to this country.

The data of the companies themselves on the organized tourist flow in the DPRK correspond to the official figures: even the largest tour operators working in this direction record only "dozens" of bookings per season.

First-hand news

South Korea is an Asian country that sets an example of the rapid development of economic potential. The growing interest of foreigners in the country testifies to the rapid growth of the South Korean economy and the rise in the standard of living in the country. Every year, world statistics record an increase in the flow of immigrants willing to work and live in South Korea. Among them, a large proportion are visitors from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan. Is it possible for a foreigner to find a job in South Korea?

Job search stage

Ways to find work in South Korea for Russians, Ukrainians and Kazakhstanis

It's one thing to hatch plans to immigrate to Korea for the purpose of work, and quite another to find a suitable job there. It is twice as difficult for foreigners to break into the Korean labor market compared to local citizens. However, the laws of competition make it possible to find a job even in difficult conditions, if there is knowledge of the language, professionalism, and a demanded specialty.

Samsung employs hundreds of immigrants every year

Finding a job in South Korea is akin to the same process in other countries. Traditional tools are recruiting agencies (International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies), sections of media announcements (The Korea Times, The Korea Herald, The Seoul Times), direct contacts with employers, the Internet. The latter method is one of the most popular among job seekers. As practice shows, it is quite effective and efficient. There are many resources on the Internet with job offers in South Korea. Here are just a few of them:

Well-known Korean companies have opened good opportunities for finding interesting vacancies for high-class technical specialists. For example, Samsung Corporation uses a special online resource www. earsamsung. o. r for foreign job seekers. Another Korean firm, LG, periodically publishes job offers on its website. In fact, these are direct contacts with employers, thanks to which good prospects open up for immigrant specialists.

The list of in-demand professions in South Korea mainly consists of highly qualified specialists:

  • medics,
  • lawyers ,
  • engineers ,
  • technicians ,
  • translators ,
  • IT specialists,
  • designers.

However, among graduates, there is the highest competition even in the Korean society itself, not to mention foreigners. Nevertheless, employers are ready to hire a really worthwhile specialist, regardless of his status. The requirements are naturally very high, including knowledge of the Korean language and impeccable professional skills.

… I can say from personal experience that if you are not of Korean appearance, then it is difficult to find a job here. It is easier to find a job in Europe and America. Contact any company and you will be sent to Korea. But in order to find a job, you have to move yourself, no one is satisfied with the contract, so if you are fired on the third day, it will be your problem. If you want to work, come yourself and look for a job yourself, but without knowing the language and without acquaintances in Korea it is difficult to do this ...

Life in South Korea attracts many Russian migrants. The country is distinguished by a high standard of living, good salaries, and a loyal attitude towards Europeans. But on the other hand, migrants are repelled by the huge workday and the obsession of Koreans with appearance.

So is it worth living in South Korea? About this - in our article on the portal Migrantu Mir.

Living standards in South Korea

The standard of living in South Korea is quite high. In the ranking of the countries of the world, it ranks 27th - somewhere in the middle, between wealthy Denmark and poor Vietnam. The average life expectancy in Korea is 79 years.

She has excellent indicators in terms of the provision of citizens with housing, education, jobs. However, the health of the population, the balance between work and personal life, and the level of income are not at the best level.

On average, one family member accounts for 21 thousand dollars a year (on average in the world - 33 thousand). At the same time, in South Korea there is a very strong gap between the poor and the rich: the income of the latter category is 6 times higher than that of the former.

About 67% of the working-age population aged 15 to 64 has a paid job here. At the same time, 11% have irregular working hours.

The pros and cons of living in South Korea

Life here has both advantages and disadvantages. Among the advantages are:

  • Highest level of security. Literally. Here you can forget your phone on the bench and calmly return for it in a day - no one will touch a finger.
  • Excellent business environment. South Korea is ranked 5th in the Doing Business rating for investment attractiveness.
  • Active social life. The country regularly hosts festivals, sports events, concerts and various bright and interesting events.
  • Ideal infrastructure. South Korea is the country of the future. Everything around is equipped with smart systems, and Wi-Fi can be caught even in a remote village.
  • Local people. Koreans are very friendly and helpful. They welcome foreigners and treat them almost on an equal footing.
South Korea is a very clean, safe and highly developed country. Photo: pixabay. om

Among the shortcomings are:

  • A very dear life. Seoul is in the TOP 10 most expensive cities in the world.
  • Difficulty finding a comfortable home. Most Koreans live in "humane".
  • Difficulty learning Korean.
  • Crazy work schedule. In addition, Korea has complex rules of etiquette and business culture.
  • The local obsession with appearance.
  • Risk of escalation of military conflict between North and South Korea.

Joseon, Taehanminguk or Hanguk, as Koreans call their country, has a long history and rich culture. Life in Korea has not always been easy. The country was going through periods of occupation, devastation, famine and waves of mass emigration. Today it is one of the four "East Asian Tigers" or "Asian Small Dragons" ─ this is how experts informally describe the country's economy. Over the past few decades, the once completely unenviable existence of Koreans has been replaced by a full-fledged modern life, not inferior in quality to European or Japanese.

Level of economic development

"Miracle on the Hangang River" is a common name for the Korean economic phenomenon, which in half a century has transformed the country from an agrarian into a prosperous and high-tech leader.

South Korea is a member of the G20, occupies the top line of the Bloomberg Innovation Index and is the 11th economy in the world with a GDP per capita of over $ 41,000.

  • It is the world's largest manufacturer of large vessels, automobiles and electronics.
  • In terms of ease of doing business, the country is in 5th place in the world.
  • Spending on scientific and technical research and development is 4.5% of GDP.
  • South Korea ranks 36th in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
  • The middle class is 45% of the adult population, and the unemployment rate is only 3.5%.

The long-term credit rating of the Republic of Korea is assessed by all international agencies as stable.

Take a sociological survey!

South Korea has a higher standard of living than most of the countries in the Better Life Index. Average levels of housing, civic engagement, education and skills, job security, wages and personal safety are also higher.

On the other hand, indicators for income and well-being, subjective well-being, environmental quality, public health, social connections and work-life balance are below average.

After-tax per capita income averages $ 22,000 a year, less than the average for developed countries. There is a significant difference in income between the rich and the poor: the income of the top 20% of the population is five times the income of the poorest people in society.

Life expectancy at birth is 82 years, two years more than the average in other developed countries.

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