Tourism Australia Announced to be Welcoming Back Travellers from South Korea to Australia

Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, ship or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip.[1] Travel can also include relatively short stays between successive movements, as in the case of tourism.
The origin of the word “travel” is most likely lost to history. The term “travel” may originate from the Old French word travail, which means ‘work’.[2] According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word travel was in the 14th century. It also states that the word comes from Middle English travailen, travelen (which means to torment, labor, strive, journey) and earlier from Old French travailler (which means to work strenuously, toil).

In English, people still occasionally use the words travail, which means struggle. According to Simon Winchester in his book The Best Travelers’ Tales (2004), the words travel and travail both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instrument of torture called the tripalium (in Latin it means “three stakes”, as in to impale). This link may reflect the extreme difficulty of travel in ancient times. Travel in modern times may or may not be much easier depending upon the destination. Travel to Mount Everest, the Amazon rainforest, extreme tourism, and adventure travel are more difficult forms of travel. Travel can also be more difficult depending on the method of travel, such as by bus, cruise ship, or even by bullock cart.[3]

SYDNEY, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Tourism Australia is excited to be welcoming back travellers from South Korea to Australia, following today’s announcement that Australia is reopening its borders to quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated South Korean citizens from 1 December.

The announcement is part of Australia’s phased re-opening to international travel and builds on quarantine free travel arrangement with Singapore, which came into effect on 21 November.

“The announcement today enabling fully vaccinated travellers from South Korea to travel to Australia from 1 December is an exciting and significant next step in rebuilding international visitation from this key tourism market,” Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said. 

Australia has long been a popular outbound destination for travellers from South Korea, with 280,000 travelling to our country pre-COVID, and we are really excited that we will have the opportunity to welcome visitors from this important travel market once again.

“With the reopening of travel from South Korea, Tourism Australia will soon be kicking off dedicated marketing activity to urge travellers to come and enjoy all the incredible tourism experiences that await them in Australia,” Ms Harrison said.

The Australian Government has also announced fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to entre Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption from 1 December. Eligible visa holders include Working Holiday Makers (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462).

“In addition to the announcement of quarantine free travel from South Korea to Australia, the return of eligible working holiday makers to Australia from 1 December is welcome news for our tourism industry.

“Working holiday makers are crucial to the tourism sector as these young travellers tend to stay longer, spend more and disperse more widely as they travel whilst also providing a flexible source of workers by combining their time in Australia with work and travel plans,” Ms Harrison said.

Tourism Australia Executive General Manager Eastern Markets and Aviation Andrew Hogg said that he hoped South Korean citizens would make the most of the new quarantine-free travel arrangements and enjoy being amongst some of the first international travellers able to travel to Australia from 1 December.

Australia has long been a popular travel destination for South Koreans, who spent $1.5 billion on their travels here in 2019,” Mr Hogg said. 

Australia’s relative isolation from the rest of the world, coupled with its sparsely populated land and natural wonders, have never been more precious and desirable, and we hope that South Korean travellers will jump on the opportunity to fall in love with Australia all over again.”  

“We are really excited to be able to welcome back South Korean travellers to take the opportunity to relax and discover – or perhaps rediscover – some of the lesser-known parts of Australia that make us such a popular holiday destination,” Mr Hogg said.  

Tourism Australia will be kicking off a new tourism campaign to welcome South Korean citizens back to Australia in the coming weeks. As part of this campaign Tourism Australia will be working with a range of key distribution and airline partners including various airline partners to drive booking and drive recovery for Australia’s hard-hit tourism economy by providing tactical offers aimed at stimulating travel to Australia from South Korea.


  • From 1 December, Republic of Korea citizens can now travel by air to Australia quarantine-free, without applying for a travel exemption.
  • Eligible Republic of Korea citizens who are fully vaccinated States can enter NSW, VIC and ACT and will not be required to quarantine. If planning on travelling onwards to or through a different state or territory when upon arrival in Australia, travellers will need to check domestic travel restrictions.
  • To be eligible, travellers must:
  1. hold a valid Australian visa
  2. be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Unvaccinated minors (17 and under) will be permitted to travel when travelling with a fully-vaccinated adult
  3. depart from Korea and arrive in a participating Australian state or territory
  4. provide proof of their vaccination status
  5. present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within 3 days of departure (unless a medical exemption applies)


  • South Korea is Australia’s tenth largest source market for international visitation and seventh most valuable for spend.  
  • In 2019, 281,000 South Korean travellers visited Australia, making up 3 per cent of all Australia’s international arrivals.
  • Of the 281,000 Korean arrivals, 208,000 visited for leisure purposes. 67 per cent of Korean visitors visited for a holiday and 14 per cent visited friends or relatives.
  • Total expenditure in 2019 by Korean travellers equated to $1.5 billion, of which $986 million was spent by leisure travellers alone. On average they spend $4,738 per leisure trip and spend $169 per night.
  • Korean travellers spend on average 30 nights holidaying in Australia, of which 81 per cent are spent in capital cities.
  • 69 per cent of leisure travellers from South Korea are first-time visitors to Australia. Of the 31 per cent that made a return visit, 33 per cent had previously visited the country more than twice. 
  • 45 per cent of all visitors from South Korea in 2019 visited two or more cities or regions on their trip. NSW was the most visited state, followed by QLD, then VIC.
  • Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics- International Visitor Survey YE Dec 2019.

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