In partnership with the Korea Tourism Organization, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism hosted the ‘Tourism Global Challenge Alumni Day’ at Ambassador Seoul Pullman on July 27. The event brought together tourism startups, major industry players, and global accelerators to foster innovation and cooperation in Korea’s rapidly expanding tourism sector.
The Tourism Global Challenge Alumni Day is the first of its kind, providing a platform for tourism companies participating in the ‘Tourism Global Challenge Program’ to showcase their innovations and collaborate with various industry stakeholders. Since its inception in 2020, the program has aimed to nurture next-generation K-Tourism leading companies, supporting their growth and encouraging the development of innovative tourism technologies.
The event featured 44 tourism companies from diverse fields, such as travel information, lodging, K-Pop, exhibitions, beauty, food, experience, transportation, medical tourism, and technology. These companies engaged in 1:1 meet-ups and networking opportunities with industry affiliates, overseas tourism agencies, and investors, seeking to create new business ventures and expand their global presence.
During the talk concert held at the event, successful entrepreneurs and digital experts shared their experiences in entrepreneurship, overseas expansion, and the potential for K-content to drive the tourism industry. Lee Jae-hwan, Vice President of the Korea Tourism Organization, emphasized the importance of supporting growth through substantial backing and minimal interference.
Participants highlighted the collaborative benefits gained from the Tourism Global Challenge Program. Lee Chang-hyun, CEO of an AI-based travel recommendation B2B solution, Globalier, praised Korea’s unique cultural content category called K-Culture and called for the creation of tourism programs leveraging K-content. Yoon Ho-gi, CEO of Glim Media Group, operating a K-Pop fandom platform, expressed the need to develop K-content into a tourism-related business, opening new avenues for the industry.
Looking to the future, the program aims to continue strengthening its role as a cooperation platform for domestic and foreign tourism industries while providing tailored support for overseas expansion. Plans include the establishment of a tourism company support center in Tokyo, Japan, following the successful launch of the Korea Tourism Startup Center in Singapore in August 2022.
The corporation has been actively supporting foreign investment attraction, facilitating participation in tourism and tech fairs, and fostering business partnerships in the Southeast Asian market. Strategic partnerships with Singaporean institutions and companies, proof-of-concept (PoC) initiatives, and foreign investment attraction are being pursued by leading Korean tourism companies like Globalier.
Lee Jae-hwan, Vice President of the Korea Tourism Organization, stated, “With the increasing digitization and shift to O2O-based paradigms across all industries, travel tech companies with innovative technologies and creative ideas are poised for successful overseas expansion like never before. We will continue to support Korean tourism companies’ competitiveness while fostering greater cooperation between domestic and international players.” With ongoing efforts to support the growth of innovative startups and create synergies between K-content and tourism, Korea’s tourism landscape is set to thrive in the coming years.
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