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J Trolan

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J Trolan

Issues in Business Management and Economics
Vol.5 (5), pp. 81-87 September, 2017
ISSN 2350-157X
Available online at
Article ID/BM/17/037/07 pages
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.

Original Research Article

Korean tourism marketing: The need for a clear message

Joe Trolan

Division of International Sport and Leisure,Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea.

Author’s Email: joetrolan(at)

date Received: June 2, 2017     date Accepted: September 8, 2017     date Published: September 14, 2017


Having a constructive and systematic policy on tourism is important in promoting and sustaining tourism. Countries with successful and prominent tourism industries show a consistent message and one that leads to success. In Asia, countries such Thailand and Malaysia have a successful and consistent message while in Africa; countries such as Kenya utilize a message that resonates with potential tourists. On the other hand, Korea, which has a plethora of wonderful historical and cultural interests that could entertain and attract tourists, has failed to succeed in becoming seen as a global tourist destination. The potential for growth in the tourist market in Korea is immense and while tourism has not necessarily stagnated, it has yet to be fully developed or promoted properly. An issue that has limited the success is that the Government organizations do not have a clear or consistent message when marketing Korea overseas. The message is fragmented, underdeveloped, and misplaced to many potential global tourists. It is important for tourist organizations within Korea to re-examine their strategies and to ask difficult questions such as are we overemphasizing nationalism in its marketing? Are we targeting the correct people or are trying to tell people what to visit rather than telling them why to visit? I believe that the main organizations involved with Korean tourism are misdirecting both the message and the target market and this is hindering Koreas growth as a destination. Therefore, this paper attempted to show the problems within the Korean tourism market and deliver a critical analysis of marketing policies that could help Korea develop a more consistent and uniformed marketing strategy.

Key words: Korea, tourism, marketing, strategy