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The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is a statutory organization of the Republic of Koreamarker (South Korea) under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and is commissioned to promote the country's tourism industry.


The KTO was first established in 1962 as a government-invested corporation responsible for the Korean Tourism industry. The organization has concentrated primarily on the promotion of Korea as a tourist destination and has contributed significantly to attracting foreign tourists. Starting in the 1980s, domestic tourism promotion also came to be an important function of the KTO. Public tourism demand has been going up due to an improved standard of living and increased disposable income, as well as an enhanced transportation network. The KTO continues to help develop tourism within Korea through addressing current trends in the tourism industry.

Inbound visitors totaled over 6 million in 2005, and the tourism industry is playing a more and more important role in the Korean economy. The KTO is endeavoring to develop Korean traditional culture into high-quality tourism products and tourism resources, in conjunction with local governments and the tourism industry. To improve tourism transportation, accommodation infrastructure, tourist information systems, and overall service, the company is also working to eliminate undesirable aspects of the tourism atmosphere through various public campaigns.

Also the KTO is putting forth its best efforts to become an efficient, challenging and harmonious organization in the 21st century. It is endeavoring diligently to make Korea as a worldwide attractive tourism destination, play a pivotal role in the developing the Korean tourism industry as a national strategic industry, and strengthen Korea’s competitiveness through focusing on major strengths and utilizing expert knowledge.

History of KTO

-1961 : The Tourism Promotion Law is enacted.

-1962 : The International Tourism Corporation (ITC) is established and given the responsibility for promoting Korea’s undeveloped tourism industry through the direct management of some major hotels, taxis and the Korea Travel Bureau, as well as by training human resources to support the travel trade.

-1968 : The number of foreign visitors passes the 100,000 mark.

-1969 : The Hotel Institute is opened. The first overseas office opens in Tokyo.

-1971 : Development of Bomun Lake Resort in Gyeongjumarker begins.

-1978 : Korea attracts over one million foreign visitors.

-1982 : The International Tourism Corporation is renamed as Korea National Tourism Corporation (KNTC).

-1988 : The number of foreign visitors passes over two-million.

-1991 : The number of foreign visitors passes over three-million.

-1996 : The company’s name is changed from Korea National Tourism Corporation to Korea National Tourism Organization.

-1998 : Kumgangsanmarker Diamond Mountains tour begins.

-2000 : Korea attracts over 5 million foreign visitors.

-2003 : Kumgangsan Diamond Mountains land route tour begins. Hallyu (Korea Wave) becomes the major theme of the KTO's overseas marketing.

-2005 : KTO reshuffles its organizational structure into 6 divisions. KTO introduces its new corporate identity. Korea attracts over 6 million visitors from abroad.

Major Functions of KTO

1)Inbound Tourism Promotion to attract inbound tourists.

2)Research & Development, Publication of Promotional Collaterals

- Research and develop tourism technology to nurture tourism industry as new engine forthe economic growth of Korea: domestic tourism and neo tourism are new scientific concepts and terminologies developed by Korea tourism Organization

3) Cooperation with the local government & the tourism industries

4) Intrabound Tourism Promotion & Improvements of the Tourism Environment

- Intrabound tourism is a new scientific terminology invented to describe the activities, measures and policies taken by countries of the world to develop and nurture the domestic tourism markets: Intrabound travel means travels within the boundary of a native country by its citizens. By adopting this definition, tourism can be classified into 3 categories: inbound tourism, outbound tourism and intrabound tourism.

5) Tourism Exchanges between Northmarker & South Korea

6) Resort Development & Consulting

Offices of KTO

◈ Head OfficeAddress: 40 Cheonggyecheonno, Jung-gu, Seoulmarker 100-180, South KoreaTel: 82-2-7299-600Fax: 82-2-757-5997

◈ KTO operates 23 overseas offices in Asia, America, Europe and Oceania. For details: KTO offices

See also

External links

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