The Korea Herald


KTO sums up 2023 travel trend with MOMENT

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : Jan. 31, 2023 - 15:34

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Jeju's Highland Road 1100, which offers a panoramic view of Hallasan Mountain. (Jeju Tourism Organizatoon) Jeju's Highland Road 1100, which offers a panoramic view of Hallasan Mountain. (Jeju Tourism Organizatoon)

The Korea Tourism Organization predicted this year's domestic travel trend as focusing on individual travelers' aspirations to discover their interests and preferences rooted in their daily lives, summarizing the trend with the acronym, MOMENT.

The travel trend forecast was announced by the Culture Ministry and KTO on Tuesday, based on an analysis of travel-related big data collected over three years. The data included travel expenses and the use of social media, as well as in-depth interviews with industry experts and surveys on diverse travel themes.

MOMENT stands for "Meet the local, Outdoor and leisure travel, Memorable time in rural area, Eco-friendly travel, Need for longer stay and Trip to enjoy hobbies," capturing the travel trend that focuses on the individual self more than groups or communities when choosing destinations and activities.

The state-run tourism organization predicted that the trend will lead to a diversification of travel themes in the post-pandemic era, as opposed to the standardized travel programs of the past.

The survey showed a growing interest in environment-friendly travel initiatives. Rest and wellness also emerged as core reasons for traveling, with more leisure activities enjoyed outdoors compared to pre-pandemic years.

Region-specific travel is gaining traction, with travelers searching for local restaurants and region-specific specialty products, while cultural and historical experience programs specific to the region are at the top of the list of travel preferences.

The meaning of travel is strongly linked to the theme of individual wellness. A time of rest in rural areas away from the bustling city is also an emerging trend.

Climate crisis issues have evoked concerns among travelers and demand for eco-friendly travel, including efforts to reduce carbon emissions while traveling, or beach plogging as part of the travel program, have shown consistent growth.

A newly developing phenomenon since the pandemic outbreak is "workation," the concept of working while on vacation.

As the boundary between work and personal life has become blurred through telecommuting and remote work, staying in a single travel destination for longer than a month to travel and work is a highlighted trend in the KTO report.

Travelers also tend to fill in their travel plans with hobbies that they enjoy. The tendency to seek travel companions who share the same hobby as opposed to choosing families and close friends as travel mates, has grown over the past few years.