South Korea holds positive, long-term potential for Alberta based on travel intentions and interests of high-yield, long-haul travellers. According to the ITB Travel Trends 2014/15 report, South Korea is expected to see continued outbound travel growth of between 3 and 4%. Gross domestic product is forecast to grow 3.2% in 2016.
Having experiences in nature is a strong motivator for South Korean travellers, which provides great opportunity for Alberta. Interest in winter travel from this market is low and Travel Alberta is focused on elevating awareness of Canada and Alberta as a viable four season travel destination.
While group travel continues to be popular for an older generation of South Korean travellers, a growing young and middle-aged leisure segment is becoming more independent and looking for unique, experiential and themed products.
Blogs and websites are the top sources of information for trip planning, while travel shows and social networks have strong potential to influence travel decisions. Digital and social marketing are a priority in this market.
Air capacity from South Korea to Canada grew in 2015, with Air Canada and Korean Air both increasing seat capacity. While there is no direct air service into Alberta, Delta's Incheon to Seattle flight with connecting service to Calgary and Edmonton has provided additional access to the province. Travel Alberta continues to work with airline partners and their codeshare programs to increase air capacity for Alberta.
Travel Alberta will continue to partner with Destination Canada to leverage the strong Canada brand in Korea. With the increased ease of connections with destinations in the United States, Travel Alberta has been working with trade professionals to promote dual-nation itineraries, as well as showcase Alberta-only itineraries for those Korean travellers looking to stay longer.
Opportunity for growth
Increased air service through U.S. gateways provides increased access for Alberta and growth opportunity through dual nation itineraries
- Capitalize on the increased demand for FIT travel by positioning unique, experiential and themed products to grow visitation through the province and promote longer stays
- Engage the digitally connected traveller through year-round marketing targeted with relevant content
- Work with travel trade to increase visitation during need periods and diversify experience offering within Alberta
- Position Alberta in the MICE segment through strong vertical alignment with Alberta industries