Growing demand from foreign tourists to experience Korean culture firsthand

  • 6 years ago
The growing interest in Korean culture worldwide -- from the food, the history, the films and the music -- means more foreign visitors are coming to experience Korea.... and its unique culture firsthand.
Seo Eun-kyung tells us more.
Nervous, yet excited.
Seven visitors from four different countries have gathered to learn their first Korean words and phrases together.
But this is no ordinary Korean class.
The phrases they learn are primarily focused on shopping, because, in just a moment, they will be buying ingredients using their newly-acquired language skills.

"Armed with the five sentences they've just learned, they hit the crowded market to put the phrases into practice. Let's see how they do."

How much is it?
Do you have sesame seeds?

Feeling anxious, this tourist from Singapore successfully buys some sesame seeds.

"Learning Korean was challenging but fun and we managed to buy the ingredients in the market."

Armed with the ingredients they bought themselves, the tourists now try their hand at making some popular Korean dishes.
On the menu is Jeon , a traditional Korean pancake.
Learning how many Koreans enjoy Jeon with Makgeolli, Korea's traditional rice wine, the visitors get to learn the recipes while absorbing Korea's vibrant food culture.
Also on the menu is Kimbap, Korea's famous seaweed rice roll, and Tteokbokki , rice cakes covered in a fiery chili paste.
No visit to Korea is complete without trying two of the country's most popular street foods.
And bulgogi, marinated slices of beef, is proving a hit with the visitors.

"It tastes really good, and I think it was fun to actually experience how it is prepared."

"We have 1-point-5 times more people applying for our program compared to last year. With more people showing interest in Korean food, people of all ages from various countries are taking part in the program."

Food is not the only aspect of Korean culture that foreign visitors want to experience.
With the exploding global impact of K-pop, more tourists are applying for K-pop dance classes, learning how to shake their hips like their favorite idol stars.

"As social media enables people to have easier access to information regarding any country, they easily get information about our tour items which they can try in person."

The expert added that since South Korea is geographically small in terms of sightseeing tours, it needs to further develop seasonal and local experience tours such as the one enjoyed by these tourists.

Seo Eun-kyung, Arirang News.