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South Korea Hotel Market Overview

STR takes an in-depth look at South Korea's hotel market performance 

STR, in partnership with Horwath HTL, has released a year-end 2015 overview of South Korea’s hotel market, including some figures from the first quarter of 2016. 

The report delves into the impacts the MERS virus had on South Korea’s hotels and also gives a breakdown of how Seoul performed against the rest of the country. 

Some highlights from the report include:

Hotels in South Korea performed weaker in 2015 than in 2014. Occupancy was down 11.9% and RevPAR (revenue per available room) declined 18.9%, based on year-end figures.

The MERS outbreak scare caused the country’s occupancy level to drop considerably from 70.8% in May 2015 to 48.4% in June 2015.

South Korea has an existing supply of 280+ hotels, with 64k+ rooms. The country recorded an increase of +7.5% in supply for 2015 YTD and an Under Contract room pipeline of 10k+ rooms on top of its existing supply.

Market Outlook

South Korea is the fifth largest economy in the Asia Pacific region. In terms of international arrivals, Seoul attracts a significantly larger amount of travellers every year than the rest of the country, which depends more on domestic travellers. 

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is positive about tourism growth in South Korea, and is taking steps to invigorate the market. The country has gained popularity among international travellers in recent years due to the Hallyu Wave – a phenomenon of Korean entertainment and culture blending together to attract visitors.

Another campaign, “Visit Korea Years 2016 – 2018” is a project leading up to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic that aims to attract 20 million foreign tourists a year through food, hospitality and culture programs. Also, the Korea Tourism Organization is promoting the “K-Smile” campaign to raise awareness of the warm hospitality of South Korean citizens.

To read the full report, click here.