Overcoming COVID-19 barriers by meeting the domestic and international tourism industry online

Date Oct 11, 2020

Overcoming COVID-19 barriers by meeting

the domestic and international tourism industry online

Korea Tourism Virtual Fair 2020 is to be held Oct. 12-16,

with over 1,000 tourism establishments from 30 countries



The Korean Ministry of Culture Sports, and Tourism (led by Minister Park Yang-woo) and the Korea Tourism Organization (led by President Ahn Young-bae) will jointly host the Korea Tourism Virtual Fair (hereinafter KTVF) 2020 to support the development of overseas markets for the Korean tourism industry, which has been effected by COVID-19.


All events will be conducted via the KTVF website (www.ktvf2020.com)* where attendees can participate in a variety of activities including the Opening Ceremony, Conference, 1:1 Online Business Meetings, a Business Exhibition Hall, and the Korea Travel Exhibition Hall. Aside from the 1:1 Online Business Meetings which are only available to businesses and organizations registered in advance, the attractions of the fair are open to everyone.

*Available in four languages: Korean, English, Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) and Japanese


The Korea Tourism Organization and KLOOK to sign a “contactless” business agreement


The KTVF 2020 Opening Ceremony will be held at 4pm (KST) on Monday 12th October and will begin with a welcome speech by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo, followed by congratulatory remarks by K-Pop group ITZY, the new honorary ambassadors for Korea Tourism, and other key global figures. President Ahn Young-bae of the Korea Tourism Organization will meet with Ethan Lin, the CEO of world-renowned online travel agency KLOOK, in a virtual space with the cities of Seoul and Hong Kong as a backdrop; together they will sign a business agreement to overcome the shared crisis in the tourism industry and boost Korea tourism products following COVID-19. There will also be two keynote speeches by Ethan Lin (CEO of KLOOK) and Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). An exciting opening concert will feature a joint performance by LEENALCHI and the Ambiguous Dance Company, incorporating the lively rhythms of traditional Korean music.


1:1 Online Business Meetings to take place between 293 domestic tourism businesses and 657 overseas tourism businesses


In order to resume the exchanges between domestic and overseas tourism industries that have been restricted by COVID-19, 1:1 online business meetings will be conducted each day with tourism companies from different regions including English-speaking countries (12th and 13th October), Japan (14th October) and Chinese-speaking countries (15th and 16th October). A total of 657 companies from 29 countries have completed the pre-registration process allowing them to be matched with domestic tourism agencies for online meetings. These are made up of 316 companies from English-speaking countries (Europe, the US, and the Middle East), including global online travel agencies such as TripAdvisor and Air Canada, 62 companies from Japan, 232 from Chinese-speaking countries including China’s No.1 travel agency Trip.com, and 47 overseas public institutions.


From Korea, a total of 293 tourism companies and organizations have signed up. This includes 99 travel agencies, hotels and airlines (such as Lotte Tour, Gyeongwonjae Ambassador and JinAir), 51 tourism ventures experiential product companies (such as KoreaTravelEasy and the Trick Eye Museum), 80 local governments and public institutions (such as Gangwon-do, Busan Tourism Organization and Korea Airports Corporation) and 63 medical tourism and performing arts-related companies (such as the Healience, NANTA, and Jeongdong Theater).


A total of 1,400 1:1 online business meetings have been planned over the five days. Once international tourism resumes after COVID-19, the plan is to share information from the businesses involved so that the results from the meetings can be linked to the number of visitors attracted to Korea, in order to facilitate the active promotion of products related to Korea tourism.


Open to tourists from around the world: showcasing Korea tourism products and sharing strategies for tourism recovery in the COVID-19 era


In addition to the online business meetings, attendees from all over the world can visit the Business Exhibition Hall, to find out more about the 293 exhibiting organizations, and the Korea Travel Exhibition Hall, which will display attractive Korea tourism products. In the promotion hall, visitors will be able to reserve or purchase tourism products.


Furthermore, from Tuesday 13th to Friday 16th October, attendees will be able to watch online lectures by domestic and overseas guest speakers on the theme of “The Present and Future of Global Tourism in the Era of COVID-19” every day at 4pm. Speakers representing each region include Terry Dale, President of the US Tour Operators Association, Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association, a speaker from the Japan Tourism Bureau (JTB) Research Institute, and Dai Bin, Chairman of the China Tourism Academy. Professor Lee Jae-gap (Infectious Disease Department, Hallym University Medical Center) will represent Korea in his lecture on the current situation of COVID-19 prevention in Korea, and the effects on tourism.


“Until now, tourism-related organizations and businesses have communicated with tourists at face-to-face travel fairs, but now COVID-19 has become a barrier to interactions with tourists, as well as between the domestic and overseas tourism industries,“ Minister Park Yang-woo said. “I hope that this virtual fair, prepared in the aftermath of COVID-19, will help overcome the barriers between countries and provide new ways of operating international tourism fairs.” Going forward, as international tourism begins to resume after COVID-19, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to encourage this recovery with new policies designed to help revive the tourism market in Korea.