Flying to an overseas destination: When will it be?

Date Dec 07, 2020


- ‘Tourism-Aviation Recovery Forum 2020’ to be held on Dec. 8-9,

co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport –



The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST, Minister Park Yang-woo) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT, Minister Kim Hyun-mee), in collaboration with the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO, President Ahn Young-bae), will host the Tourism-Aviation Recovery Forum 2020 between Dec. 8 (Tue.) and Dec. 9 (Wed.), 2020.


Since the 1st International Forum for Tourism and Aviation Cooperation (Dec. 8, 2018), both MCST and MOLIT have hosted policy discussions to identify joint policy initiatives involving cooperation between tourism and aviation. This year’s forum, held for the third time, will explore strategies for promoting recovery in tourism and aviation following the serious disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.



MOLIT to discuss the safe recovery of aviation in the COVID-19 era


Day 1 discussions (Dec. 8, 2020) will be organized by MOLIT at the National Aviation Museum of Korea which opened last July. On-site participation will be minimized, with only domestic speakers attending in person while overseas presenters and audiences will join online as a safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


A total of three separate sessions will bring together high-level aviation experts as well as aviation industry and public health professionals from a variety of organizations that are currently leading policy responses to COVID-19 in the global aviation sector. These include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI). Discussions will focus on ways to ensure the safe recovery of the aviation industry, which has suffered greatly due to COVID-19, and to restore human and material exchange to pre-COVID-19 levels.


The list of speakers features world-renowned experts from the international aviation community, including the Chair of the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART)*, the Director of the Air Transport Bureau and Air Navigation Commissioner at ICAO, the Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific at IATA, as well as their Director of Airports & External Relations, and the head of Technical Affairs, Safety, Capacity and ATM at ACI Asia-Pacific.


* ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force


Session 1 will serve for ICAO and other international aviation organizations to share information on aviation safety and recovery guidelines designed to safeguard the international air routes. MOLIT has been active in such effort since last March at the onset of the worldwide outbreak with participating in and supporting a series of ICAO CART activities established to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through air travel and to develop guidelines for the safe recovery of the aviation industry. Discussions in this session will represent the outcomes of commitment made at the international aviation community level to promote the safety of aviation transport and sustainable recovery of the aviation industry.


The aim of Session 2 will be to share Korea’s independent aviation safety guidelines, which have been formulated through an interpretation of ICAO’s guidelines that takes into account Korea’s local conditions. The session will invite feedback from public health experts regarding how to strike the correct balance between aviation safety and recovery.


Session 3 will cover a number of endeavors made to reinvigorate the sluggish airports, airlines and aviation industry as a whole amid the on-going COVID-19 outbreak as well as ‘travel bubbles’ that are emerging as a key agenda item in the global aviation and tourism sector as a means to revive the aviation industry, though their actual and immediate implementation still remains considerable way to go due to the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases. A Travel bubble refer to an agreement in which countries apply different level of quarantine scheme with one another by taking into account their local COVID-19 infection risk. Also referred to as travel corridors, this newly-coined term is representative of emerging efforts to resume international tourism in a safer manner across diverse regions of the world, thereby rekindling the aviation and tourism industries and providing a boost to national economies.



MCST to explore recovery measures through cooperation between tourism and aviation


Day 2 events will be led by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) as a hybrid meeting from the main conference room of the Post Tower in Seoul, Korea. The number of in-person attendees will be limited to presenters only in order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Approximately 300 pre-registered attendees from local governments, tourism organizations, airlines and public agencies will join the event virtually. Those who could not apply to attend during the pre-registration period can still participate in the online conference by submitting their application through the secretariat of the Tourism-Aviation Recovery Forum 2020.

* Secretariat website:


Commencing with a congratulatory speech by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo and a keynote presentation by MOLIT Deputy Minister for Aviation Kim Sang-do, Day 2 discussions will be organized into three different sessions. The theme of Session 1 is Trends and Prospects for the International Aviation Industry in the COVID-19 Era. The session will invite Javier Ruescas, a senior specialist at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to present on current trends in the international tourism sector, followed by Vinoop Goel, the Regional Director at IATA, who will outline trends in the global aviation industry.


Session 2 will examine how the tourism and aviation industries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and propose policy options designed to weather this crisis. From the tourism sector, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) will deliver a presentation on the success of ‘Korea-Taiwan skyline tour’ products and other strategies for promoting in-bound tourism amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Following this, HanaTour ITC will provide an update on the various trends and response strategies being implemented by Korea’s in-bound tourism industry. From the aviation sector, Jeju Air will introduce the trends and response strategies implemented by the aviation industry in the COVID-19 era, and Incheon International Airport Corporation will shed light on the possibilities for creating safe travel corridors between airports.


Session 3 will address the theme of ‘Reopening Tourism’, elaborating on the way forward in establishing a crisis management system for in-bound tourism, as well as strategies for revitalizing international tourism and aviation in the COVID-19 era. The Director General for Tourism Policy at MCST, Choi Bo-keun; the Director General for Aviation Policy at MOLIT, Jeong Yongshik; the Director of the Air Business Headquarters at Korea Airports Corporation, Lee Mi-ae, Director Ko Gyeong-pyo at Jeju Air, and the Division Head at HanaTour ITC, Park Jae-hee, will join the session to discuss these important paths towards the recovery of global tourism and aviation.


Minister Park Yang-woo said that “The prolonged COVID-19 crisis has taken a heavy toll on Korea’s tourism and aviation sectors. Especially, travel restrictions and closing of borders around the world make it difficult to predict when international travel will ever resume. This is threatening the very survival of the in-bound tourism market.” He added that, “Amid the on-going COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) should identify ways to safely restart international aviation and initiate a partial resumption of international tourism, while placing top priority on infection control. We will do our utmost to carefully review the suggestions made by the private sector, public agencies and experts in the tourism and aviation industries at this forum and will join hands with MOLIT to restart international tourism in a safe manner.”


“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Korean aviation industry for its efforts to fully respond to the spread of COVID-19 on the strength of the K-Quarantine system. In particular, our top priority should be to further strengthen our preemptive disease controls while establishing travel bubbles and other recovery mechanisms in order to restore confidence among travelers on the safety of air travel as a way to ensure the safe recovery of the aviation industry that remains stagnant due to the global pandemic,” Minister Kim Hyun-mee commented, adding “The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will closely cooperate with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at the government-wide level to assist the aviation and tourism industries in overcoming this pending crisis brought by COVID-19.”