Partners Cultivate Korean Connections on Brand USA Sales Mission
A contingent of 27 of Brand USA’s industry partners traveled to Japan and South Korea on Brand USA’s second annual sales mission to the two countries, July 9-12. After meetings in Tokyo, the group arrived in Seoul, July 11, and received a Brand USA briefing on the Korean market.
The next day, the participants had individual B2B sessions with key Korean tour operators and other members of Korea’s travel sector. A gala dinner, which had an American music theme, followed. The dinner paid tribute to Brand USA’s giant screen documentary, “America’s Musical Journey,” currently in worldwide release.
Brand USA sales missions allow U.S. destination-marketing organizations and additional travel suppliers to pitch their products and services directly to local travel professionals.
The United States is the third-most visited country among South Korean travelers, and the no. 1 long-haul destination beyond Asia.
Nearly 2 million South Koreans visited the United States during 2016, which was 12 percent more than the previous year. The double-digit increase followed a 21-percent jump in 2015. The level of visitation in 2016 allowed South Korea to rank as no. 7 among the top-10 source markets for inbound travel to the United States.
During their U.S. trips in 2016, the South Koreans spent $8.6 billion, placing them as the ninth-greatest international spenders.
New air connection
Delta Air Lines begins new, nonstop service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (Minnesota) to Seoul Incheon International Airport in South Korea, starting in summer 2019. The airline recently received approval for a joint-venture partnership with South Korea’s Korean Air. By virtue of the partnership, the two carriers will be able to coordinate flights and fares, and sell seats on each other’s flights. Overall, the partnership enhances the level of connectivity that exists between the United States and Asia.