Create a tourism environment specialized in the Middle East with 'Alam Arabi Korea', a public-private consultative group

오재경 Oh Jae-Gyung
28 Feb 2024

Minister Yoo In-chon, Second Vice Minister Jang Mi-ran, Ambassadors to Korea from five Middle Eastern countries attended the launch ceremony of the consultative body

Along with KTO(Korea Tourism Organization), MCST(Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) (Minister Yoo In-chon) held the inauguration ceremony of "Aalam Arabi Korea," a public-private consultative body, at the Shilla Hotel Guest House on February 28 to promote tourism to the Middle East. "Alam Arabi Korea," the name of the consultative body, is Arabic meaning "Arab world in Korea," and it aims to create a Middle East-friendly tourism environment through the consultative body. The inaugural ceremony was attended by MCST Minister Yoo In-chon and Deputy Minister Jang Mi-ran, ambassadors from five Middle East Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, and 31 companies including accommodation, medical care, beauty, shopping, food and beverage, and K-culture.

Last year, 31,029 people visited Korea from six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East, showing a 90% recovery rate from pre-COVID-19 (34,868 in 2019). The Middle East has the fastest growth rate of overseas tourism in the world, and has recently attracted attention as a high value-added tourism market due to its high tourism spending, long stays, and large-scale tourism. In addition, the popularity of K-pop and K-dramas among the 2030 generation in the Middle East is highly favorable to Korea, and as interest in K-beauty, wellness, and medical tourism increases, especially among Middle Eastern women, the demand for Middle Eastern tourists visiting Korea is expected to increase.

MCST and KTO will officially launch a public-private consultative body with 31 companies in six areas including high-end accommodation, medical care, shopping, beauty, shopping, food and beverage, and K-culture, which are the core of high value-added tourism in the Middle East, to create a tourism base that is friendly to the Middle East and develop customized tourism products for visitors to the Middle East. MCST will share the current status and demand of major customers including state guests and business tourism in the Middle East, and provide education and counseling to help the industry understand Middle East culture. It will also support the development of customized tourism products using specialized tourism services and infrastructure in the Middle East, and actively promote them through overseas promotion events for Korean tourism to be held in Qatar such as the Culture and Tourism Exhibition in May and the Dubai K-Tourism Roadshow in November. 

"Alam Arabi Korea" will develop customized services specialized for Middle Eastern visitors, such as food diversity and convenience facilities for Middle Eastern culture, which are considered the most important factors for Middle Eastern tourists to consider when selecting tourist destinations, create infrastructure, and expand information guidance on them. In order for Middle Eastern visitors to Korea to easily use necessary services and facilities, multilingual information such as restaurants, medical facilities, and tourist destinations will be provided not only to Bigit Korea ( ), a representative channel for overseas promotion of Korean tourism, but also to online map services and tourism applications (apps) favored by locals.

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