Tourism & Travel

Korea Tourism Organization Launches Nine-Day Vegan Food Tour

The Korea Tourism Organization has organized the country’s first ever vegan food tour, after seeing a significant increase in the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle.

The tour is nine days long and includes stops in major cities such as Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island. Participants will be able to sample traditional plant-based Korean dishes at restaurants and cooking classes; they will also learn about the country’s history and culture through activities such as meditating at a temple, visiting an apple farm, and exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The tour will be operated by Green Earth Travel, which also offers vegan tours in areas such as Cambodia, Nepal, and Bali. It will take place for the first time in September 2024.

“South Korea has long been known for its traditional meat-based dishes, but in recent years, the country has seen a surge in the popularity of veganism,” said Donna Zeigfinger, founder of Green Earth Travel.

© Green Earth Travel

Fast-growing plant-based market

By offering the tour, the Korea Tourism Organization hopes to demonstrate the country’s commitment to sustainability. Interest in alternative proteins is soaring in South Korea, driven partly by growing concerns about the environment and food security.

Last October, South Korea became the second country in the world to publish a national plan to boost the plant-based industry. This includes opening a research center for alternative proteins, taking measures to promote the use of domestic agricultural products in plant-based foods, and support for exporting plant-based products.

However, the country took what could be seen as a step backward in November, banning the use of animal food names such as “beef,” “pork,” “milk,” or “egg” on plant-based product labels.

“The plant-based food market is consistently growing by more than 10% each year […] Consumers are actively seeking out plant-based alternatives, not just for health reasons, but also due to the delicious and innovative options available,” Keum Chae Min, founder and CEO of Korean plant-based meat brand UNLIMEAT, told vegconomist in an interview last year.

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