OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Tourism Expo ‘2023, The 38th Seoul International Tourism Fair’

The Seoul Tourism Expo (SITF) is an annual event held at COEX in Seoul. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the tourism industry suffered for a while, but now it seems that we are gradually returning to the previous normalcy as we navigate through the endemic era.

One of the events within the Seoul Tourism Expo, the “Seoul International Tourism Fair,” is held annually. This year, in 2023, it marked the 38th iteration.

“The 38th Seoul International Tourism Fair”

The 38th Seoul International Tourism Fair took place from May 4th to May 7th, 2023, spanning four days. It was held at COEX C Hall in Gangnam, Seoul. The event was organized by the “Seoul International Tourism Fair Organizing Committee” and “(Association) International Tourism Forum,” and was hosted by “KOTFA.”

Similar to the 37th Seoul International Tourism Fair held in 2022, this year’s event featured various booths set up by local governments and foreign organizations, promoting tourist attractions from different regions and countries.

“Statistics of Seoul International Tourism Fair”

The scale of this year’s event was considerable. A total of 284 companies participated, including 171 domestic and 113 international. There were 1,130 participants in total, with 602 from domestic companies and 528 from international ones.

Participating countries included 21 Asian countries such as Korea, Nepal, Taiwan, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. In addition, there were 8 European countries including Greece, Malta, Spain, the UK, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, and Finland, 6 countries from the Americas including Guam, the US, Mexico, Saipan, Colombia, and Peru, and 7 African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Seychelles, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, and Tunisia. Dubai from the Middle East also participated.

The fair attracted a total of 52,147 visitors, with 50,775 from Korea and 1,372 from overseas.

“Exploring Diverse Travel Information at the International Tourism Fair”

At the International Tourism Fair, visitors could obtain information about local specialties and travel destinations from various countries and regions. Not only various local governments in Korea but also foreign ones participated. Just like last year, the Embassy and Tourism Office of Côte d’Ivoire attended, and regions like Sasebo and Kumamoto in Japan were also present.

As we transition into the post-COVID era, there is an expectation that suppressed demand for tourism will surge. This event provided a great opportunity for those preparing for their travels to gather various travel information.

“Conducting B2B Meetings at the Tourism Fair”

In addition to B2C, B2B meetings were also held. Like last year, I, too, participated in the event and engaged in various meetings with foreign companies. While most meetings were conducted online last year, there were more offline meetings this year compared to the previous year. With the post-COVID era approaching, there is an anticipation that offline meetings will become even more prevalent than online ones.

“Seoul COEX: The 38th Seoul International Tourism Fair”

  • Location: COEX C Hall, 513 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
  • Duration: May 4th – May 7th, 2023 (4 days)
  • Website: https://kotfa.co.kr