THE Korea Tourism Organization Manila Office (KTO Manila) recently hosted a weekend of events in Cebu, reminding Cebuanos of Korea as a top-tier tourist destination.

On Nov. 18, the Korea MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) Seminar was held at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. During the afternoon session, KTO Manila hosted outbound travel agencies and shared with them important news and updates with regard to traveling to Korea.


The seminar’s opening remarks were delivered by KTO Manila director Hyung Joon Kim, followed by the congratulatory message from Hyeongsun Yoon of the Jeollanam-do Tourism Organization (JTO) manager. Jen Marini Constantino of KTO Manila and Haein Park of JTO followed up with their respective presentations about travel to Korea in general, and the up-and-coming tourist hotspot, the province of Jeollanam-do.

The seminar ended with a raffle draw giving away souvenirs and prizes. The grand prize saw two attendees go home with round trip tickets from Cebu to Incheon.


Park shared about Jeollanam-do to the attendees, discussing the province’s rich history, capacity in hosting international events, and its overall recuperative vibe and charm. She quickly shared about the province and its five cities with a population of 1.8 million (ranking 10th in Korea), and its magnificent coastline stretching up to 6,743 kilometers (accounting for 45 percent of the country’s total).

“Despite Covid-19, 2022 has increased the number of tourists [to Jeollanam-do] and became the third-most popular tourist destination,” shared Park.

Park highlighted the “Three Great Attractions” of the province: the coastline city of Yeosu; the vibrant destinations in cities and counties frequented by the young like Suncheon, Mokpo, Damyang and Gwangyang; and finally, Jindo, known for being a terrific venue for educational travel.

Different airlines were also represented during the seminar, as they presented their plans to improve the connectivity and go to Korea from Cebu. They also shared their ongoing and planned promos and exclusive travel packages, while all sharing the same sentiment that the number of flights will match pre-pandemic numbers soon. Some of the companies who took the stage through their representatives were AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.


Constantino, KTO Manila assistant manager, quickly discussed updates on travel to Korea in terms of visa applications and Covid-19 protocols.

“On June 1, 2022, issuance of Korean Tourist Visa was finally resumed by the Korean Embassy,” she said. “Multiple entry visas issued before April 5, 2020 — that have yet to expire — can be used without re-application.”

She also announced visa-free entry to Korea via Jeju and Yangyang International Airports. “As of the moment, both are open only to group tourists,” said Constantino. “Maximum allowed stay is 15 days and the visa-free entry is valid from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.”

According to Constanstino, Korea announced that the rate of confirmed cases from overseas visitors dropped from 1.3 percent in August to 0.9 percent in September.

“In consideration of this development, the mandatory RT-PCR test has been lifted. The pre-entry PCR requirement is no longer mandatory, and the on-arrival PCR test requirement has also been lifted starting last Oct. 1.”

In terms of the wearing of face masks, Korea has completely lifted the requirement of face mask-wearing outdoors, while the KTO expects that the country will be partially lifting soon the strict implementation of wearing face masks indoors.

Constantino also stressed the importance for tourists travelling to Korea to use the “Q-CODE.” This is a system established by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) in order to shorten the time for quarantine inspection and provide the conveniences overseas entrants require upon entry to the Republic of Korea.


From Nov. 18 to 19, KTO Manila hosted a series of events in Cebu aimed to re-introduce Korea as a premier leisure and business destination. After the Korea MICE Seminar on Day 1, the province of Jeollanam-do hosted a special dinner meeting with some local travel agencies.

On Nov. 19, the “D.I.Y. Korea Travel Seminar: Ganda Korea” was held at AyalaMalls Central Bloc. Fun activities included K-Pop contests, games and raffle draws, and the guest appearance of vlogger and influencer Kryz Uy-Young, as she shared her travel tips and experiences during her trips to South Korea.

In an October 2022 report, South Korea remained as the top foreign visitor arrival of Cebu with 46,075 arrivals, accounting for 28.57 percent of the total visitors in the province. KTO Manila aims to duplicate this, encouraging more Cebuanos to travel to South Korea.