Korea Tourism Organization-Manila highlight visa-free entry programs, transit tours

Kristofer Purnell – Philstar.com

March 16, 2024 | 10:24am

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Office of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is promoting programs for tourists and transiting passengers to South Korea, including visa-free entry and free transit tours.

KTO Manila partnered with the Incheon International Airport Corp. to organize the Korea Transit Tour Seminar last March 15 to raise awareness about the benefits Filipinos traveling to South Korea can get.

There are currently two kinds of visa-free entry programs when transiting in Korea: a 30-day visa-free period for passengers with visas for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and 32 European Union countries, and a three-day period for general transfers going to a country not included in the former classification. 

For passengers availing of the latter visa-free entry program to be eligible, they must book a Free Transit or K-Stopover tour.

According to KTO Manila, the paid K-Stopover tour is for passengers with a stopover between 24 and 72 hours, while the Free Transit tour is for passengers with layovers under 24 hours (though some attractions charge admission fees).

The K-Stopover tour has reasonably priced package items, including accommodations, transportation to airport lounges, shopping vouchers, and courses with exposure to a variety of local tourist destinations other than Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do.

Related: South Korea launching Hallyu visa for K-culture fans; ‘workation visa’ for those WFH

Meanwhile, the passengers availing of the Free Transit tour can choose from 30-minute up to five hour tours, depending on their layovers.

Because tours vary by times, KTO Manila offered a number of suggestions for interested travelers.

Those with only around an hour to spare can experience wearing Hanboks and crafting Hangeul souvenirs in the airport’s K-Culture Zone, while layovers more than an hour can include visits to Younggungsa Temple or Paradise City Art-tainment.

Longer layover times mean possible visits to Yedanpo Trail and Haneul Garden, Songdo Central Park and Tri-bowl, Incheondaegyo Bridge and Triple Street, Hongdae Street, Gwangmyeong Cave, exploring Sinpo Market, a Hanji experience workshop, and shopping at Hyundai Premium Outlet

The five-hour tour means visitors could go to Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park and Dokgae Bridge, The Third Tunnel and Dora Observatory, or Hyundai Motorstudio Goyang and Yeongjongdaegyo Observatory.

The longest tour also means possibilities to learn local history and tradition at Cheongwadae and Tongin Marker, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Insa-dong, or Jeondeungsa Temple, or play golf at Orange Dunes Golf Club or Club72.

RELATED: Philippines, South Korea mark 75 years of friendship with interactive exhibit


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