South Korea, which has been praised for its quick and effective action against the Covid-19 pandemic, is generally open to all countries although visitors are subject self-quarantine for 14days and a PCR test on arrival.
The country is also looking to attract buyers from Singapore, following the establishment on 4 September the ‘fast lane’ between the two destinations. This is aimed at ensuring exemption from isolation at the respective arriving country.
In a webinar session hosted by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Singapore’s office on 28 October, the NTO clarified details of the ‘fast lane’ requirements.
For Singapore residents, this includes the submission of certain documents and undertaking four Covid-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. One must be taken 72 hours before departure, one on arrival in South Korea (with the requirement to isolate for up to two days while awaiting a negative result), one 72 hours before departure and one on arrival back in Singapore. Delegates are also banned from using public transport while in South Korea.
While the process may seem quite onerous, a KTO spokesperson said it is "something that can become the new norm".
Representatives from Accor joined the webinar, with Seoul Dragon City sharing details of the hotel chain’s AllSafe hygiene and safety measures, which include thermal sensors in the lobby, temperature checks and buffets featuring pre-packaged items. The webinar also featured an introduction to Mondrian Seoul Itaewon, which opened in August.
Following positive feedback of its inaugural virtual tour of Andaz Seoul, KTO Singapore office also hosted its second virtual site inspection on 27 October focusing on Jeju Folk Village.
As with the previous tour, the virtual site inspection of Jeju Folk Village was streamed via YouTube Live, with a live text option and short quiz following the presentation encouraging attendee interaction. David Ko and Julie Park from Jeju Convention and Visitors Bureau greeted viewers at the venue’s entrance, giving a brief history of the folk village, before taking viewers inside.
After demonstrating Covid-19 safety and hygiene processes, including hand sanitisation and temperature checks, viewers were treated to a Samulnori (percussion music) opening ceremony, with music and dancing. The tour moved seamlessly on, showcasing cultural activities like ‘metdol’, a tool for grinding grain, and deumijil’ a process similar to ironing and 'moolheobeok', while also showing the importance of water to Jeju island.
After viewing traditional-style houses and a fishing village as well as various venues within the complex, the tour finished with a virtual tasting of Jeju rice wine and a short Q&A session.