South Korea, a popular travel destination in Asia, is set to make it easier for visitors to explore the country’s food, history and culture. It will temporarily exempt individuals from 22 visa-waiver nations from obtaining mandatory online travel permits and relax some transit visa requirements.
This move is a part of the country’s efforts towards attracting 10 million international tourists this year and boosting domestic demand, the finance ministry said on March 29, according to Yonhap News Agency.
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Which nations are exempt from acquiring the online permit?
Travellers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macao, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the USA (including Guam) are the ones who will be able to enter South Korea without getting an online permit through the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA). The waiver will begin on April 1, 2023, according to the K-ETA website, and end on December 31, 2024.
As of now, the K-ETA is required for visitors from 110 visa-waiver nations; the 22 countries which have been chosen for online permit exemption were selected on the basis of low rejection rates among their nationals, according to reports.
Reports add that the Asian country is also looking at resuming transit visa exemptions for 34 nationalities, which includes the USA and European countries, to allow them to stay in South Korea for up to 30 days. Group tourists from China can stay up to five days if the domestic airport they use is located in the Seoul metropolitan area or if they transit through Jeju island.
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This is not all, the country is also looking towards easing conditions for group travellers from Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as creating new visa programs for high-income individuals as well as the youth. What’s more, South Korea is also set to increase international flights to pre-pandemic levels.
The country is quite famous, especially among the youth, for its technology, music and dance (K-pop) and for its dramas. Korean food is also gaining popularity throughout the globe, along with Korean makeup and skincare products. Taking these into account, the country is also offering experiences related to the same to its visitors. These include K-pop concerts from May to October, along with Seoul Festa 2023, which is set to happen in April in the national capital and in Busan in May.
Know more about the K-ETA here.
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