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Tourism Sandwiched Between China, Japan

Touristclick Japan Travel News

Tourism Sandwiched Between China, Japan
Korea's travel agencies think the future of the nation's tourism industry, sandwiched between China and Japan, is not bright.

They say Korea's tourism is behind Japan in infrastructure and behind China in price, and foreign visitors are not satisfied with tourism attractions here.

According to the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 307 travel agencies said Japan was the most competitive among Asian countries in tourism infrastructure, followed by Southeast Asian nations, Korea and China.

In prices of tourism products, China was the most competitive, while Korea ranked behind Southeast Asian countries.

The agencies also said Korea's competitiveness in tourism resources lags far behind China, Japan and Southeast Asia, indicating they think Korea has fallen behind other Asian nations in all tourism areas.

Less than 10 percent of the respondents answered that the future of Korea's tourism looks positive.

``The Japanese are the largest portion of total inbound visitors to Korea and the number of Chinese visitors has been growing. However, Japanese people these days prefer China to Korea due to the strong won. The Chinese also choose Japan over Korea, as prices of tourism goods for Japan are similar to those in Korea,'' an official of the Korea Association of Travel Agents said.

He said that the government and travel agencies should make efforts to deal with the situation in which Korea is sandwiched between Japan's quality and China's quantity and thus is excluded from the Northeast Asian travel market.

``We need to reduce costs, for example, through expanding tax cuts, lowering hotel rates, developing attractions and easing regulations,'' he said.

According to the survey, 30.2 percent of the agencies' foreign visitors said the prices of tourism programs were reasonable but 45.1 percent said they were high. Some 57 percent said services were okay while 29.9 percent complaint about low quality.

Foreign visitors were most irritated by the lack of tourist attractions (40.8 percent), high costs (26.8 percent), poor tourism infrastructure (16 percent) and poor lodging facilities (4.9 percent).

To boost Korea's tourism, the surveyed agencies urged the government to develop tourist attractions, while saying they would strengthen marketing and present various tourism programs.

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