Tourism Growth in South Korea - 89

Having studied tourism at university and as someone who loves to travel, Korea is an interesting country to analyse in terms of tourism. In recent years, the Korean government have made many efforts to increase tourism and they have been largely successful, with events such as the World Cup and the 1988 Olympics. Even with these grand events and the influx of many visitors, Korea still remains one of the most homogeneous capital countries in the developed and developing worlds. With far greater numbers of people leaving Korea than visiting, how to attract tourism was often a discussion that arose in classes with my students, such was the interest from teacher and students.

Finding something that is interesting (particularly for the students of course) seemed often to make teaching English more effective. Let us look at a brief S.W.A.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of Korea in terms of tourism. To assess tourism in Korea we need to be clear about what Korea is and what Korea is not.

Korea IS (Strengths):

  • Rich in history.
  • Great in/at developing technology.
  • Worth visiting for the food.
  • Does have a great subway system and transportation system (every capital city has traffic jams).
  • A country where the people are very helpful and kind (in my own experience).
  • Lively with plenty to see (in Seoul).

Korea is NOT (Weaknesses):

  • A country where English is spoken widely, i.e. compared to Thailand for example.
  • A country which tourists generally consider aesthetically beautiful (this is perhaps debateable). It is not for example, a country with stunning white sandy beaches, which are popular with tourists.
  • Good for safety i.e. impossible to drive if you hire a car except for the brave.
  • A country without overcrowding and pollution.
  • Without bureaucratic problems (although many countries such as Italy and Spain also are).

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