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Elyse Perciasepe, one of our Team Leaders for the Asia department at Goway Travel, was recently invited to join her peers on a FAM trip hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization. Here, we ask Elyse to answer some questions about her experience and to share insights about visiting Korea and selling it to your clients.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Korea?
That it’s not safe to travel here. Contrary to prior belief, it is one of the top 10 safest countries to travel to. The locals are friendly and willing to help. They speak English quite well. I got lost and a local helped me find the bus stop I needed to get to. As well, people think that it is too expensive, but meals, cosmetics, and skincare in Korea are super affordable! I went a bit crazy on sheet masks, clay masks, and face wash.
What was your favourite hotel stay and why?
My favourite hotel the whole trip was the Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon. The reason for this is you get to experience the true Korean way of living here. Its traditional architecture is phenomenal! This Hanok-style hotel stole the show and made me feel like I was going back in time. I had a deluxe room, which had western-style beds, but there is an option for a Korean-style room with traditional bedding. This hotel is not ideal for those wanting to stay closer to downtown Seoul, as it is closer to the airports, which are an hour or more away from the city.
Did you experience a unique stay? What were your thoughts on this experience?
Our unique stay was at the Resom Forest Resort. This resort’s main focus is to provide healing through nature (i.e. forests). This resort is located within the mountains of Jecheon’s Bakdalijae Pass and the forest dates back 1,000 years. The infinity pool at this property overlooks the mountain peaks and forest as far as the eye can see.
As a Goway Asia Expert, and one that has travelled to Asia and lived there in the past, was there anything that surprised you?
Nothing really surprised me here, except for how affordable Korea was. I would say if anyone wanted to witness cherry blossoms, but could not afford Japanese price points, then Korea also has the same spectacular display as well.
What would be the perfect complement as an extension to this trip?
Jeju Island should not be missed! I am so happy I chose to extend here. If you like hiking trails and natural settings, this is definitely the place for you. Taking a trip out to Sunrise Peak and Mt. Songak reminded me of the East Coast here in Canada. There are picturesque views from these sightseeing points.
What would be your top 3 tips that agents should share with clients?
One: Korea is very well connected by public transportation, buses, and trains.
Two: Korea experiences the same four seasons as North America, and is also known for its fall foliage and cherry blossoms. It would be cheaper to experience these seasons here than in Japan.
Three: if you are looking for an inexpensive place to eat, check out Tongin Market. This is located in Seoul. It’s a very unique place to have lunch.
Food is always a highlight when we travel. Did you have a favourite local dish?
Bulgogi is my favourite dish. We learned how to make it ourselves at the Culinary School of Korea. This was a fantastic immersive experience.
We have some great trip ideas to offer your client, Korea is a fantastic add on to another Asia destination, so why not suggest that to your clients.
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