In an effort to appeal to a wider demographic of potential visitors, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has introduced a new brand slogan, Imagine your Korea, replacing the former Be Inspired phrase.
With the new slogan comes greater opportunities, Doojo Kim, director of the KTO's Toronto office told PAX, saying it reflects a modern and inspired side that people don't often associate with the destination.
"Traditionally, people think of Korea for history and culture," he said. "But [it] is very trendy and creative with all kinds of attractions so I'm sure you will enjoy whatever you can imagine in Korea."
"There are so many things to do in Korea - you name it, you can find it," added the KTO's marketing manager, Randy Snape.
The idea is that it's a destination where visitors can find a mix of tradition and innovation, highlighting its lesser-known appeal while also putting a spin to classic itineraries. Kim hopes that as more people are introduced to the breadth of product available there, Korea will become a top choice for Canadians looking for new experiences.
Part of this will be working closely with tour operators on independent travel options in response to a growing demand within that space versus the Groups market it has become largely familiar with. Campaigns will connect with various markets across Canada, not only geographically but also based on demographic and ethnic background.
Imagine your Korea is a global initiative by the KTO, as it works toward a goal of attracting 20 million tourists and to advance as a global tourist destination. Last year, visitor arrivals exceeded 12 million globally - about 133,000 of those being Canadian, up more than three per cent over the year prior. Canadian arrivals for 2014 up to the beginning of August already show a four per cent increase, which demonstrates a broader interest and understanding of the destination - not to mention, easier access - according to Kim.
The new slogan comes as the result of an online contest hosted by The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the KTO late last year. More than 9,000 slogans were reviewed by an advisory committee and global surveys, and eventually, this was decided as the winner.
"It doesn't need too much explanation," Snape said of the choice. "Anything you can imagine, it's possible in Korea."
The design of the accompanying logo illustrates one of Korea’s most representative colour combinations, Kim explained, and a motif of a twirling sangmo (hat worn during traditional percussion quartet performance). The “K” of Korea is especially emphasized to symbolize diverse tourism resources, such as K-Wave, K-Food, and K-Style.