The Hon John Eren MP - travel report - South Korea - October 2015


John Eren MP


Sport, Major Events, Tourism, Veterans

Countries visitedSouth Korea
Date of travel9 October – 13 October 2015
No of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
4 days 
Number of accompanying Ministerial Staff1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacityNo
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by
(list Department/s or Agency)
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
Air fares (including taxes and fees)$17,446*
Accommodation (including taxes and fees)$3,199*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)$4,245*
Travel cost for minister and staff$24,890*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

I travelled by invitation to meet with Commissioner Tim Finchem and senior executives of the US Professional Golf Association (PGA) to announce Melbourne as the host for the World Cup of Golf 2016 and The Presidents Cup 2019.

Victoria has invested in major golf events for more than fifteen years.  Our success in staging major golf tournaments has contributed to Victoria being regarded as one of the elite golfing destinations in the world.  Golf is a key product strength for Victoria.

I also met with Hana Tour, which is the largest travel organisation in South Korea, to explore further products Victoria can offer the Korean market.

In addition, I met with the Australian Ambassador and the Commissioner for Victoria in the Republic of Korea for further discussions relating to bilateral relationships between Victoria and South Korea.A meeting also took place with South Korean representatives from Tourism Victoria to receive an update on marketing strategies to increase visitation to Victoria

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria 

  • Strengthen relationships with PGA Tour – major events rights holders
  • Increase year round visitation to the Victorian golf regions
  • Extensive international branding opportunities
  • Expanding partnerships and exploring new products with Hana Tour – largest travel provider in South Korea
  • Lobbying for direct flights from South Korea to Melbourne

US Professional Golfing Association (PGA)

The PGA is the most highly regarded institution in the golfing world.

I met with the PGA Commissioners and tour management regarding Victoria's bid to host the World Cup in 2016, The Presidents Cup in 2019 and future opportunities for elite golfing tournaments.

I was pleased to announce to an international audience of 742 million homes that Victoria has been successful in securing The Presidents Cup for a record third time in 2019 and the World Cup of Golf in 2016.  This provided a significant branding opportunity for Victoria.

These high ranking global tournaments in our events calendar promise up to $66 million in additional economic impact to the State thanks to an estimated 25,000 visitors and up to 408 new jobs being created.

Discussions were had relating to Victoria delivering more golf content in our major events calendar. Further follow up through Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC) will take place.

Hana Tour

Hana Tour is the largest travel company in South Korea, employing over 3,200 employees nationally and internationally, including Melbourne where they have a branch.  Hana Tour's tourism portal has over 150,000 visitors per day which provides information on tour products and booking service.

I met with Hana Tour to discuss the development of Hana Tour's products with an increased focus on Victoria.

Tourism Victoria has been working in partnership with Hana Tour to deliver cooperative campaigns with a focus on city experiences and nature based experiences along the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island.

Currently, Tourism Victoria is conducting cooperative marketing activity with Qantas Airways and Hana Tour's Free Independent Travel (FIT) department.

Approximately 40,000 Korean visitors visited Victoria in the year ending June 2015, contributing $123 million to the economy.

Since the suspension of Korea Air's direct service in 2013 the Korean travel segment to Victoria has shifted from group tours to independent travellers.  Victoria is well placed in this market as we are regarded to be a sophisticated, safe destination.

I raised the issue of no current direct flights into Melbourne with Hana Tour, which is limiting our ability to grow market share.

Discussions progressed to the possibility of charter flights direct to Melbourne. Further discussions between Tourism Victoria and Hana Tour are required to explore how this can come to fruition.

Next Steps / Follow Up

  • Tourism Victoria to contact Hana Tour regarding opportunities for charter flights from South Korea to Melbourne.
  • Victorian Major Events Company and Tourism Victoria to work closely with the PGA on digital marketing platforms.
  • Victorian Major Events Company to continue discussions with the PGA on future golf content in our major events program.

Page last updated: 27 July 2016