Indians are heading to South Korea, and the opening of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) office in Delhi in May 2008 has only aided and helped this sentiment.
Another factor favoring travel to Seoul by Indians is the appreciation of the Indian rupee against the Korean won, which translates into about 25 percent cost advantage. And this, in the times of meltdown or recession, is a lot.
In 2008, as many as 73,200 Indians took off for Korea which represents a seven percent growth over 2007.
With the KTO plan to support travel agents in promoting packages to South Korea, the figure is bound to grow. As much as 60 percent of advertising campaign budgets is being shouldered by the tourism board, indicating that the country is really serious in luring affluent Indians.
The fresh and relatively unknown image that South Korea is enjoying is helping the destination, as people who have already seen Singapore and Malaysia or Hong Kong, would now like to see new places.
Interestingly, Japan has shown an impressive 60 percent growth in arrivals to South Korea.
Shopping and seasonal variations are among the attractions being promoted by the country, along with wellness and medical tourism.
It may come as a surprise that Seoul itself has as many as 60 Indian restaurants, including some only serving vegetarian cuisine.
Experience shows that food is a major concern for the Indian traveler, especially the large number of vegetarians, who have the money and will to travel.