Subject: economic development, tourism

What is creative tourism?

  • The salient features of creative tourism are summarized below:

    (a)encouraging tourists to participate in experimental, learning and interactive activities with a view to gaining an experience in the authentic culture of a destination;

    (b)offering tourists the opportunity to develop their creative potential through co-creating experiences with the local people, and at the same time, contributing back to the destination;

    (c)discovering high value-added tourism products through integrating tourism and creativity;

    (d)attaching importance to intangible culture and creativity instead of tangible heritage. Arguably, commercial organizations and small- and medium-enterprises in particular, play a more central role than the public sector; and

    (e)promoting sustainable growth in tourism, as creative tourism (i) revitalizes existing tourism products; (ii) overcomes some of the challenges that traditional cultural tourism is facing, such as replicated man-made attractions; and (iii) uses advanced technology to enhance the efficiency of tourism-related services.

Creative tourism in South Korea

Government support measures for creative tourism in South Korea


  • South Korea serves a good example of how a country can leverage on its creative tourism to boost the number of visitor arrivals. Under the creative economy framework, the South Korean government has adopted an integrated policy approach at the national level. It has taken a strong lead in connecting tourism to a broad range of creative industries, and thereby capitalizing on the opportunities arising from the cross-sectoral collaboration. Guided by the same framework, the South Korean government has devoted substantial resources to support the creative industries, which secures a valuable source of content for the tourism development.

Prepared by Samantha LAU
Research Office
Information Services Division
Legislative Council Secretariat
14 November 2016


1.Tourism demand is usually regarded as a measure of visitors' use of a good or service, whereas tourism supply involves the provision of accommodation, transport, excursions and other tourism facilities/resources to support tourism in destinations. See Song (2010) and Leeds Metropolitan University (2003).

2.Initiatives announced include (a) the "Ani-Com Park@Harbour'FUN'" showcasing local comic characters in Wan Chai as a photo spot; (b) the "Lumieres Hong Kong" projecting light art installations on some landmark sites; and (c) the "Tai Kwun" bringing together heritage and art programmes in the restored Central Police Station.

3.See Official Records of Proceedings of the Legislative Council (2016a) and Official Records of Proceedings of the Legislative Council (2016b).

4.The definition of creative industries varies from country to country. In South Korea, creative industries consist of advertising, animation, cartoons and comics, film, music, performing, arts, publishing and printing, broadcasting, games, characters, information technology, and content solutions. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD") has further identified architecture, design, and gastronomy as the core sectors of the creative industries.

5.Other success stories include the promotion of creative tourism in Brazil, New Zealand and Thailand. Brazil offers tourists samba dance learning experiences instead of just watching a samba dancing show, whereas New Zealand organizes a wide range of indigenous related hands-on workshops run by local tutors. Similarly in Thailand, rural regions offer tourists homestay experiences and workshops on making Thai cooking ingredients.

6.See OECD (2014).

7.Hallyu is one of the crucial factors behind the surge in inbound tourism, as it was estimated that almost 11% of inbound tourists were attracted by hallyu locations or personalities. See OECD (2014).

8.In order to secure the sustainable growth of hallyu tourism, South Korea has built the world's first hologram performance hall, as well as constructing a complex centre that includes a hallyu-related theme park, concert hall and hotel.

9.The Korean Food Foundation was established in 2010 by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. As an independent body, it is tasked with promoting hansik - Korean traditional food - to the world. It recommends high quality Korean restaurants, provides training to chefs, and sponsors promotional and educational programmes worldwide.

10.Tourists can make oriental herb products, rice cakes, folk masks, hanji (Korean paper), as well as receiving a general checkup and acupuncture from a doctor.

11.The Korean Culture and Tourism Institute is a governmental research institution which provides policy advice for the cultural and tourism sectors.

12.The Korea Creative Content Agency is a government-led agency aiming to support the growth of creative industries. Its Content Korea Lab programme provides content creators with shared working space, equipment and facilities. Likewise, the agency has established the Creative Economic Leader Academy as a training centre for content creator. It also partners with the private sector to develop the Creative Economic Leader Venture Complex which supports content development and production.

13.The startups have been selected under the Creative Tourism Contest, which aims to discover creative tourism products from startups based on culture, information technology or startups which cooperate with other industries.


1.Kim, S. & Nam, C. (2016) Opportunities and challenges for South Korea tourism and creative industries.

2.Korea Creative Content Agency (2016).

3.Korea Tourism Organization (2016).

4.Korean Culture and Tourism Institute (2016).

5.Leeds Metropolitan University. (2003) Tourism Supply Chains.

6.Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (2016).

7.OECD. (2014) Tourism and the Creative Economy.

8.OECD. (2016) OECD Countries Profiles - KOREA.

9.Official Records of Proceedings of the Legislative Council. (2016a) 27 January.

10.Official Records of Proceedings of the Legislative Council. (2016b) 17 February.

11.Smith, M. (2009) Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies. 2nd ed. Routledge.

12.Song, H. (2010) Tourism demand modelling and forecasting: how should demand be measured?