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April 8, 2023

Most EU Citizens Can Continue to Travel to South Korea

Nationals of several EU countries will remain eligible for free travel to South Korea for another year, as the Asian country has announced that the exemption of the Korean Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA) will continue applying to nationals of 12 European countries until December 31, 2024.

According to the official K-ETA portal, nationals of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden can continue travelling to South Korea without presenting a Korean Electronic Travel Authorisation, although the service of applying for one is still available, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“Starting from April 1, 2023, South Korea will temporarily extend travel exemptions for citizens of 22 regions under the K-ETA system. This expansion will last until December 31, 2024,” the press release reads.

The measure was introduced by South Korean authorities as part of the celebrations of Visit Korea Year (2023~2024), and the exemption for travel authorization applies to nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK and the US.

Last year, South Korea exempted nationals of eight countries from the requirement of presenting a travel authorization; Solomon Islands, Japan, Micronesia, Kiribati, as well as Tango, Taiwan and Samoa.

In general, the EU and South Korea are determined to improve the connectivity between the two regions, making travelling between these destinations more convenient. Previously, the Prague Convention Bureau revealed that Vaclav Havel Airport would add 11 new flights, including two long-haul routes to Taiwan and Seoul.

“Compared to last summer season, we will offer passengers more connections, despite the fact that there are still no destinations served in Ukraine and Russia. For comparison, in the record year of 2019, there were flights from Prague to 190 destinations,” he pointed out in this regard.

South Korea is a popular destination among Asian countries, as 17.5 million tourists visited the country in 2019, indicating constant increases in the number of tourists every year. The travel and tourism industry generates significant income for the country, making up 4.16 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2019.

The top nationalities to visit South Korea every year include China, which is the primary market of international tourists to the country, followed by Japan, Taipei, the United States and Hong Kong. On the other hand, South Koreans usually travel to China, Japan and Vietnam, followed by other Asian countries, which indicates they keep tourism and travelling within the region.