As Hallyu, or Korean Wave, continues to captivate people worldwide including in the Philippines through K-pop and dramas, South Korea has launched another visa-free program for Filipinos.
The Korean Embassy in the Philippines and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Manila Office announced a new visa-free entry program for Filipino group tourists.
Starting March 15, Filipino group tourists can enter South Korea visa-free through Muan International Airport.
(Clockwise from top left) Damyang Metasequoia, Jeonju Bibimbap, Suncheonman Bay and Suncheonman Bay National Garden (KTO)
(Clockwise from top left) Damyang Metasequoia, Jeonju Hanok Village, Suncheonman Bay and Naejangsan National Park (KTO)
This is the third regional airport of Korea where Filipino tourists are allowed to enter without securing a Korean tourist visa following Jeju International Airport and Yangyang International Airport.
Muan International Airport is in Jeolla Province, found in the southwestern part of mainland Korea.
Further divided into two provinces–North Jeolla (Jeollabuk-do) and South Jeolla (Jeollanam-do)--Jeolla Province possesses 15 of Korea’s 100 must-visit tourist spots.
These include Jeonju Hanok Village in Jeonju, Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation in Boseong, Naejangsan National Park in Jeongeup and Sunchang, and Purple Island in Sinan.
Jeolla Province is also known as one of Korea’s must-visits when it comes to Korean food particularly the Jeonju Bibimbap.
To promote Jeolla Province and to further enhance the connection between Korea and Southeast Asia, nationals from three Asian countries, including the Philippines, were granted the visa-free entry to Jeolla Province via Muan International Airport, valid from March 15, 2023 until March 31, 2024.
Allowed areas of travel include the whole Jeolla Province: North (Jeollabuk-do) Province, South Jeolla (Jeollanam-do) Province, Gwangju Metropolitan City, and Jeju Island.
To be eligible for this program, one must join a group tour arranged by eight designated travel agencies, and are scheduled to fly in and out of Muan on the same direct flight with the group consisting of five or more members.
The group will be issued a tourist/transit visa, instead of a short-term visit visa, and will be allowed to stay for 15 days.
Full list of designated travel agencies can be found on the Korean Embassy’s visa announcement page.
In June 2022, Gangwon Province announced a visa-free entry for Filipino group tourists’ scheme via their regional airport, Yangyang International Airport.
Allowed areas of travel include Gangwon Province and Seoul Metropolitan Area (Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province).
Meanwhile, visa-free entry to Jeju Island was resumed the same month. Filipino tourists must fly directly to Jeju Island or through a third country that does not require a visa. Tourists visiting Jeju without a visa must stay within the island only.