The Korea Herald


Looking into a crystal ball

New books examine global travel trends

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Jan. 30, 2021 - 16:01

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The Korea Tourism Organization has published two books on recent global tourism trends that suggest future developments for the local tourism industry.

Like all others around the world, Korea’s tourism industry is facing perhaps the worst crisis in history due to the travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey of 500 tourism businesses by the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, 97.6 percent saw a drop in sales from January to September, year-on-year. The average drop in sales reached 66.6 percent.

To support the beleaguered industry, the state-run organization has published two books that highlight global trends in tourism. 

Cover image of “World Tourism Trend Insight 2021” (KTO) Cover image of “World Tourism Trend Insight 2021” (KTO)

For “World Tourism Trend Insight 2021” (unofficial translation), the KTO’s employees at branches around the globe wrote about travel trends in the countries where they are posted.

According to the KTO, the book includes examples that offer realistic ideas that could be implemented locally, and suggests new ways of thinking about tourism. It consists of five chapters that highlight global tourism trends, including eco-friendly tourism, wellness tourism, urban regeneration and more.

Employees at the KTO’s branch in Sydney, Australia cover eco-tourism, while those from the Los Angeles branch wrote about road trips. The organization’s outpost in Hong Kong contributed a section about the local culinary scene and the team in New Delhi covered Indian yoga practices.

New York’s subways and subway stations are introduced as tourism spots, along with the night markets in Bangkok, Thailand, indoor-skiing in Bejing, China and dark tourism in Hanoi, Vietnam. 

Cover image of “Night Tour Trends Overseas at a Glance” (KTO) Cover image of “Night Tour Trends Overseas at a Glance” (KTO)

Another book, “Night Tour Trends Overseas at a Glance,” (unofficial translation), makes the case that night tourism can provide a new breakthrough for the travel industry, which took a major blow from the prolonged virus pandemic.

According to the KTO, support from local communities, local authorities and the government is necessary for the tourism industry. This conclusion was reached by examining examples where a city’s history, tradition, culture and even nature are all used as night tourism spots.

The book introduces the latest night tour trends across the globe, from a light and sound show in New Delhi, India; a “Swan Lake” performance in Vladivostok, Russia; Diner en Blanc in Paris; lanterns in Hanoi, Vietnam; and Milky Way watching in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

“Countries around the world are working on developing new tourism content that can adapt to the big changes that coronavirus has brought,” Jin Jong-wha, director at KTO‘s International Tourism Strategy Team, said.

“We hope these books can help the tourism industry and related authorities who are thinking about new ways of traveling,” the director said.

The two books are available both online and at bookstores. “World Tourism Trend Insight 2021” and “Night Tour Trends Overseas at a Glance” are priced at 16,000 won and 14,000 won, respectively.

By Im Eun-byel (