Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), in association with TravTalk, is hosting an exclusive webinar for the Sri Lanka travel trade on 30 July, at 11 a.m. (SLST).
This first-ever webinar by KTO for the SL trade will highlight the unbelievably beautiful regions of Korea that would be ideal for the Sri Lankan traveller. The webinar will be led by Sandeep Dutta, Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Organization – New Delhi office and Trevor Rajaratnam, Immediate Past President – TAASL, Vice President – UFTAA, and Past President – IATA Agents Association of Sri Lanka, as speakers. To register, visit https://event.webinarjam.com/register/152/gw35lb7r and stand a chance to win exciting Korean gift hampers in the ‘Destination Quiz’.
The Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka enjoy friendly relations both past and present, primarily based on their Buddhist cultural links. Their bilateral political and economic relations have also been keenly developed by both countries over the years. Tourism to South Korea from Sri Lanka has also been on the rise. In 2019, the country witnessed a 2.4% growth in arrivals from Sri Lanka and a corresponding growth in the share the latter held in the cumulative tourist arrivals of South Korea in 2019 versus 2018. These arrivals consisted of leisure tourists, business travellers, official visitors, and others.
Abound with UNESCO World Heritage sites many of which are ancient Buddhist temples or house scriptures, South Korea is a haven for the Buddhist pilgrim and tourist. For instance, the Janggyeongpanjeon Hall in Haeinsa Temple is an official archive built to safely store the 13th-century Printing Woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and miscellaneous Buddhist scriptures. The hall is believed to have been built in the 15th century, which makes it all the more amazing for its scientifically advanced construction. The hall was built in such a way as to perfectly preserve and protect the fragile woodblocks from changes in temperature and humidity levels.
Also as breathtaking are Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple, ancient Buddhist temples of Korea that were established in the mid-8th century during the golden era of the United Silla Dynasty. These two heritage sites represent the highly developed architectural skills and creative craftsmanship of the Silla people. In particular, the magnificent and sublime beauty of Seokguram’s carvings and Bulguksa Temple’s stylobate and its two stone pagodas are considered masterpieces of Buddhist architecture, unparalleled in all of Northeast Asia.
Most popular attractions
A visit to South Korea would not be complete if one didn’t get to see or visit the top attractions that need to be in every discerning travellers’ bucket list. These top 10 attractions were the most searched for on the Visit Korea website in 2019.
- Gyeongbokgung Palace, the main legal residence of the royal family during the Joseon dynasty
- Namsan Seoul Tower, famous for its nightscape view of the city of Seoul
- Bukchon Hanok Village, a representative attraction of Seoul that shows the charm of Korea’s traditional buildings
- Namiseom Island, originally just a hilltop, the island’s effort to preserve nature and reuse recyclable items is noteworthy
- Lotte World, the all-year-round amusement park with attractions that include a carousel, Spanish pirate ship, flume ride and big thrill rides like the Gyro Drop and Gyro Spin
- Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon, built in the early Joseon period and, of all the palaces, served as the royal residence the most
- Hongdae, a cultural hub that has streets lined with cafés, restaurants, bars and shops
- Insa-dong, or ‘Street of Traditional Korean Culture’ and the main thoroughfare lined with crafts and souvenir shops, restaurants and cafés serving traditional foods and teas in hanok buildings
- Busan Gamcheon Culture Village, a kaleidoscope of colour built in a stair-step fashion on the side of a hill in Busan
- Myeong-dong, a district of fashion, shopping and unique street food
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