Kimichi, BTS, Squid Game… What is it about South Korea?

Koreans have a higher percentage of people who travel abroad compared to larger Asia countries including Japan, China and India

With a population of 51.5 million, South Korea is a very small country in Asia in terms of population and land size. However, if you look at the ratio of each population that travels overseas, Koreans far exceed the numbers of larger countries in Asia including Japan, China and India.

Pre-pandemic, South Korea recorded 28.7 million outbound travelers, or 56% of the population who were traveling abroad. When you compare this figure with China at 11%, Japan at 16% and India at 2%, this remarkable figure showcases how Koreans love to travel, especially overseas.

Koreans are Traveling

Since the South Korean government lifted all COVID related restrictions in October of 2022, the Korean outbound market is recovering at an extremely fast pace. As of June of 2023, the Korean outbound figures have reached 61.3% of the pre-pandemic, 2019 levels. See chart below, Source: Korea Tourism Organization


Opportunities in the Korean market are unlimited, especially as more Koreans are seeking diverse travel experiences. Social media is an important driving factor for Koreans, who now want to travel abroad more than ever.

Luxury Brands are using South Korea as a Test Study

Koreans know what they want and are willing to spend on what they feel is worth it. When brands/products succeed in South Korea, the influence spreads through Asia. As a result, South Korea is becoming a regular test study for global high-end brands such as Balenciaga, Valentino and more. The world’s top luxury brands are not just focusing on fashion items, but are expanding their range of goods to cosmetics, watches, fragrances and even food in a bid to lure-in this lucrative market.

Targeting South Korea

South Korea is not an easy market, especially with the language barriers and unique consumer behavior. However, working with the right local partner who understands your brands/products will help promote and bring in business. CWW Korea develops a well-tailored approach to the brands/products in the Korean market, as it is important to understand the local market and create a cost-effective marketing strategy that works for your brand.

Interested in learning more about marketing and representation in South Korea? Contact Connect Worldwide to schedule a free consultation today.

Connect Worldwide South Korea Contact: Gina Choi, Director of South Korea,