By Lee Hyo-sik
For many Koreans, travel means usually taking more than a week off from work once or twice a year and flying to one of the Southeast Asian countries with family members or friends. But a growing number of Koreans have and will take short-term trips multiple times throughout the year to their hometown or to foreign destinations amid an increasingly hectic modern lifestyle, according to Hotels.com, the world’s leading hotel booking website with a network of 130,000 hotels worldwide.
The site said ``nanobreaks,’’ a newly coined term referring to a trip to a nearby country on short breaks or extended weekends, will become one of the new travel trends for Korea in 2011.
``In Korea, considerable growth in the number of independent travelers and the online hotel reservation market is expected to continue in 2011, as various social networking services such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr are making it easier for people to share stories about their travels,’’ said Peter Yoshihara, marketing director for Hotels.com in Korea and Japan.
Conditions are ripening to allow people to conveniently take a wide range of short overseas trips to fit into today’s busy lifestyles, he said. ``In general, Korean travelers tend to make hotel reservations about one month before their trip and this seems to reflect the fast and precise decision-making styles of the Korean people.’’
Anticipating this newly emerging travel trend, Hotels.com has planned special discounts on hotels in the Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe from the year’s end until the middle of February, a period that includes the New Year’s Day and Lunar New Year holidays, to allow Korean travelers to enjoy nanobreaks more easily.
``We also plan to offer short promotions like the limited 72-hour promotion on hotels in Japan, a hugely popular destination among Koreans,” Yoshihara said.
The sales promotion for the Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe is available from Dec. 22, to Feb. 16, 2011, for hotel stays until April 30.
Discounts of up to 40 percent are offered for hotels in Asian destinations suitable for nanobreaks among Korean travelers.
These cities include Seoul, Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Ho Chi Minh. Reservations can be made through the official Korean website of Hotels.com (http://kr.hotels.com) and the Korean language call center (Tel No.: 02-2076-8351, Toll-free No.: 00798-14-800-7641).