2022 & Beyond: Australia-Korea Travel Trends

There’s no denying the global impact of COVID-19 significantly affected both bilateral and global trading systems, with travel-trade ground to a halt between Australia and Korea for the best part of two years.

However, despite travel restrictions, we’ve seen no decline in the trade and business relations between the two nations – in fact, it’s as strong as ever.

As we approach 2022, we are delighted to see international travel resume between Australia and Korea, providing an opportunity to once again connect our two business communities.

The Republic of Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest export partner and over the past decade, we’ve seen significant growth in the level of trade and investment between the two nations, with South Korea accounting for around $41.3 billion of Australia’s international trade in 2019.*

Looking to travel to Korea before the financial year ends?

As travel between Australia and Korea slowly reopens, there has been a drive for Australian citizens to travel in and out of Korea for business. The Australian Government also recently announced that as of December 2021, eligible citizens of the Republic of Korea who are considered fully vaccinated will be able to travel to Australia without seeking a travel exemption and quarantine-free. The recent discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has resulted in all international arrivals into Victoria, NSW and ACT requiring to quarantine for a period of 72 hours, while further investigations into the seriousness of this variant is undertaken. We urge our members to monitor developments closely, together with the latest public health advice and resulting implications to interstate and international travel.

If you’re looking to take your Korean business relations to the next level with a trip to Korea, we’d love to connect you with our diverse network of community and business leaders through our membership program.

Linking you with individuals who have previously navigated the travel system and can share their personal experiences when entering and leaving the country in these unprecedented times will make the process more seamless for you.

The AKBC assists members in finding the right Korean partnerships through our extensive and diverse connections, as well as working alongside governments and senior business leaders on policy, trade advocacy, and industry support. We aim to place you in the best hands when it comes to gaining business travel exemptions in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Bilateral partnership opportunities in Korea

The Republic of Korea is home to some of the world’s largest and most diversified companies, making it a dynamic and vibrant place to do business.

With a population of 51.7 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of more than US$31,000**, The Republic of Korea presents a multitude of opportunities for Australian businesses to enter the Korean trade market.

Areas of increased trade and investment potential include:

  • Critical Minerals: In response to a range of global trends and geopolitical events, securing a stable and accessible supply chain to these metals is quickly becoming a national priority for both Australia and Korea. Download our Discussion Paper – Critical Minerals: Urgent Opportunities for more.
  • Food and Beverage: As Australian food and beverage exporters are searching for new trade markets resulting from tensions with China, Korea is a prime market for exporters to target. AKBC will be releasing a report shortly on trends in Korea and opportunities for Australian exporters.
  • Hydrogen: The development of a sustainable and mature hydrogen market between Australia and Korea has the potential to define the bilateral relationship over the next century. Download our report, Mapping the Australia-Korea Hydrogen Intersections for more.

AKBC members play a vital role in establishing a connected, valuable network and promoting two-way trade and investment between Australia and Korea.

Comprising Australian and Korean industry leaders, AKBC’s subcommittees are established in areas where we see promising areas of growth in the Australia-Korea business trade and investment relationship.

Learn more about becoming a member and our sub-committees.

What to expect in 2022

The AKBC anticipates a growth trajectory between Australian and Korean trade and investment as we look to further foster and grow business relationships between the two nations into the new year.

Businesses can also receive continued benefit from the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), with 2022 marking its eighth year of operation. KAFTA strengthens opportunities by improving market access for Australian companies, creating new services opportunities, enhancing protection for Australian investors while safeguarding Australia’s competitiveness in this large market.

This past year’s success of Korean cultural exports and phenomena like Squid Game have provided an opportunity to get to know Korea better. Korean food and culture have also become widely adopted across Australia as interest in Korean pop culture has continued to increase.

As Korea grows as a trade capital and a cultural sensation, so too does it become increasingly popular as a tourist destination. The Lonely Planet listed Gyeongju, South Korea as one of the top ‘must visit’ city’s in their Best in Travel 2022 list.


*Source: Export Finance – South Korea Country profile

**Source: Austrade, Export markets – Republic of Korea

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Australia Korea Business Council
PO Box 24430
Melbourne, Vic 3001 Australia
Liz Griffin – Executive Director

The Australia-Korea Business Council is the leading national body committed to strengthening the Australia-Korea economic relationship.