Clockwise from top left: Jinha Joh, Senior Marketing Manager;
Emily Kim, Marketing Director; Irene Lee, PR Director;
Estelle Kim, Web Promotions Manager; Cecilia Yoo, PR Manager;
Jun Bae, Marketing Assistant
Additional Market Information
South Korea’s economy has bucked the global trend, with robust growth projected at 2.2 percent in 2012 and 3.1 percent in 2013. Korean travel to California is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2013, while spending in California by Korean visitors is projected to rise 8.7 percent to just less than $1 billion. This strong growth has been driven by the continuing appreciation of the Korean won versus the U.S. dollar in 2012. A further appreciation of 4.5 percent is projected for 2013.
Extensive airlift from Korea to California, with 62 weekly nonstop flights, continues to drive strong growth out of the Korea market. Due to high demand, in January 2013 Korean Air deployed a doubledecker A380 aircraft on its Seoul to Los Angeles route. As a result of these positive market factors, travel to California represents more than 33 percent of all Korean travel to the United States, and Korean arrivals into California are expected to grow a further 23.9 percent in the next three years.
Since the implementation of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program in Korea in November 2008, the total number of Korean travelers to the United States is increasing every year. According to both Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, Korean arrivals to the United States have been increasing nearly 40 percent compared with before the visa waiver program.
Key Market Strategies
- Focus on increasing and diversifying California tour products to meet Korean traveler demand, thereby increasing length of stay and ultimately increasing visitor spend.
- Using a B2B2C strategy, target and reach consumers by partnering with tour operators and airlines to deploy social network sites and mobile
- marketing campaigns to promote California through their marketing channels and database.
- Develop integrated PR and trade programs to further increase California’s exposure to consumers and create a strong call to action, such as unique programs like TV Home Shopping.
- Continue to optimize and strengthen MyCalifornia.co.kr (California Road microsite) with engaging and attractive content combined with web-driving marketing tools like SNS and blogs, in order to achieve high search visibility with Naver and other key search engines which is an essential channel in the travel planning process.
- Proactively pitch online and offline media to generate unique features about the diversity and lifestyles of California to increase the exposure of the California brand in market.
- California Sales Contests with Airlines: Successfully deployed “California Sales Contests” in partnership with Asiana Airlines, Singapore
- Airlines and Japan Airlines, to motivate travel agents to aggressively promote California products via their marketing channels with incentives and competitive airfares.
- BH Lee’s CA Tourism Ambassador for Asia: Implemented and deployed a pan-Asian media project generating significant media coverage in Korea, Japan and China in high-profile consumer lifestyle magazines such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Negotiated further exposure during Mr. Lee’s Walk of Fame handprinting ceremony and Korean Movie Festival in Hollywood, which generated a PR value in Korea alone of $615,000.
- “The Voice of Korea”: Visit CA Korea negotiated with Mnet, a leading music cable TV Channel in Korea, to film the season finale in California,
- inviting top musicians and the finalists of the program. The program generated the equivalent exposure of $100,000 and reached more than 1 million viewers.
- TV Home Shopping Campaigns: On three separate occasions, a uniquely Korean TV Home shopping co-op promotion with key airlines and travel trade was used to launch new California tour packages. The PR equivalent for each program was $100,000 with 780–1,300 calls received during the hour.
- Ongoing fam trip for key operators and trade and lifestyle media
- New print and online California Drive Guide sponsorship
- Ongoing content and fam trip support for MyCalifornia.com microsite
- Marketing opportunities for itinerary and content inclusion within a TV Home Shopping program