Korea Tourism Organization and Incheon International Airport welcomed travel agents to learn more about what the airport has to offer their clients during extended stopovers in the destination.
Agents took part in an informative and interactive dinner presentation and trade show featuring and partner airlines, held at the Markham Event Centre last Friday (June 16). Participating airlines included Air Canada; Air China; Cathay Pacific; China Airlines; China Southern Airlines; EVA Air; Hong Kong Airlines; Korean Air; and Philippine Airlines.
According to John Hyungkwan Park, director of the KTO’s Toronto office, Incheon serves as the “hub of Asia” welcoming long-haul travellers en route to other Asian destinations such as China, India or Vietnam. As such, Incheon has established many programs and services for passengers on stopovers of any length, from free WiFi and shower rooms to the Sky Hub Lounge and Heineken bar. More than 7,400 free performances also take place throughout the year, Kim said, from classical music and K-pop to the Walk of the Royal Family, recreating the pageantry of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty.
Jin-Sik Kim, director of Incheon’s transfer service development team, told PAX that work on a second passenger terminal is nearing completion, with the new facility set to debut in December.
The KTO’s presentation focused on the various transit tours offered by Incheon, which Kim said will allow stopover passengers to “enjoy a little bit of Korea” in between flights. Running between one and five hours in length, the various guided tours take guests to many of Korea’s most important and popular sites, including the Young-Gunsa and Incheon Temples, the Gwangmyeong Cave Tour (part of a former coal which now houses a subterranean art gallery) and several tours of Seoul.
While the tours are free, some require guests to pay for admission to various attractions or recommend they bring money for lunch.
Randy Snape, the KTO’s marketing manager, said that while the tours are non-commissionable, agents should recommend them as a value-added experience to encourage repeat bookings from travellers who may want to return to Korea to experience the destination in full. The tours can be booked in advance by travellers at www.airport.kr.
For agents who want to recommend a transit tour to their clients flying into Incheon, the KTO suggests considering the following:
- Clients are planning for a long-distance trip
- They have no direct flight to their final destination
- They don’t have plans to travel on their own outside of the airport during their stopover.
More about Incheon International Airport
Incheon welcomed 57.8 million passengers in 2016, with averages of 100 million annual travellers expected long-term, Kim said.
More than 88 airlines with 182 destinations are served by Incheon, including 36 cities in China, 26 in Japan and 28 in the U.S. Average transfer times are approximately 70 minutes, while transfers between Korean Air flights are only about 45 minutes.
- Stopover passengers can also visit a number of nearby attractions including the COEX Aquarium, Trick Eye Museum, Lotte World Amusement Park and the Dragon Hill Spa.
More information on Incheon is available at www.airport.kr.