Literacy > Lodging Glossary > Tourist Hotel

Tourist Hotel

A tourist hotel is a lodging establishment registering and operating a tourist hotel property as a tourist hotel business pursuant to the ‘Tourism Promotion Act’. It is a lodging establishment most similar to the conventional meaning of a ‘hotel’ because it must be equipped with rooms and amenities in terms of facilities, has a system in place to accommodate foreign tourists in terms of operation, and was the first type of lodging establishment star-rated in Korea.
Statutory Definition
Tourist hotel properties refer to buildings registered and operated as 'tourist hotel businesses' pursuant to pursuant to the Enforcement Decree of Building Act, and ‘tourist hotel business’ means a business that provides facilities suitable for tourists' accommodation, along with additional amenities such as dining, exercise, entertainment, recreation, performances, or training facilities, for tourists to use.
Lobin Commentary

The separation of ‘tourist hotel business’ from the broadly defined hotel business under the ‘Accommodation Business Act,’ which was the starting point for lodging-related laws, began in 1976 with the implementation of the ‘Tourism Business Act,’ the predecessor of the ‘Tourism Promotion Act.’ The Tourism Business Act defined tourist hotels as ‘businesses that provide structures and facilities suitable for tourists’ lodging and offer food.’ In other words, it provided a comprehensive definition of lodging business in general similarly to the current ‘hotel business’ under the Tourism Promotion Act.

Then, with the addition of marine tourist hotels in 1982 and family hotels in 1986 to the ‘Enforcement Decree of the Tourism Business Act,’ the definition of tourist hotels gradually became more specific. In 1987, when the ‘Tourism Promotion Act’ replaced the Tourism Business Act, traditional hotels were added, followed by hostels in 2009, small hotels and medical hotels in 2014, reinforcing the current definition of tourist hotels. The current ‘Enforcement Decree of the Tourism Promotion Act’ defines tourist hotels as businesses that ‘provide facilities suitable for tourists’ lodging and make them available for use by tourists, along with facilities suitable for food, exercise, entertainment, recreation, performances, or training related to lodging.’ Annex 1 of the ‘Enforcement Decree of Tourism Promotion Act’ specifies the registration criteria for tourist hotels as follows:

  1. Must have at least 30 rooms equipped with bathrooms or shower facilities.
  2. Must have a system in place to provide services to foreigners.
  3. Must secure ownership or usage rights of the land and building. However, ownership must be secured if recruiting members.

Initially, the rating assignment was limited to tourist hotels. In other words, it was the type of lodging establishment closest to the conventional meaning of a hotel. However, in 2003, the scope of rating assignments was expanded to include the entire hotel industry, with the scale from 1 to 5 stars.

Meanwhile, Article 8 of the ‘Enforcement Decree of Tourism Promotion Act’ restricts the use of the term ‘tourist hotel’ in the name of a lodging establishment unless registered as a tourist hotel business. Initially, this restriction on the use of business names was not in place but was first introduced in 2002.

Tourist hotels cannot be sold fractional, but they can recruit members pursuant to Article 25 of the ‘Enforcement Decree of Tourism Promotion Act.’ Member recruitment was initially only allowed for timeshares and family hotels, but was expanded to the entire hotel industry in 2002.

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Data Source

  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Establishments: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

Data Source

  • Population: Population, Total (World Bank Open Data)
  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

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Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • USA: Census Database (STR)
  • Period: As at the end of 2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Life cycle was calculated as of December 31, 2021 or actual closure date. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST), Economic Census (KOSIS), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA), DART (FSS), Trends Report (STR)
  • USA: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR), Trends Report (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Visibility was calculated as the number of establishments for which revenue data is available divided by the total number of establishments. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Guests(Korea): Domestic Traveler Survey (MCST), International Traveler Survey (MCST), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA)
  • Rooms(Korea): Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • Guests(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Trends Report (STR)
  • Rooms(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2020

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.