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Republic of Korea targets 20 m inbound tourists through promotional programmes

The Republic of Korea has introduced numerous tourism promotional programmes hoping to attract 20 million inbound tourists annually during the 2016-2018 Visit Korea Year, officials in charge have said.

Two annual shopping-tourism festivals – the Korea Grand Sale and the Korea Sale FESTA are being promoted, Manager of the PR Team for the Visit Korea Committee, Ms Kwon Jiyeon told journalists from five Asian countries.

The journalists from Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan and Vietnam were on a recent one-week press tour to Korea organised by the Korean Culture and Information Service, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.

Visitors admire Changdeokgung Palace, a Korea's World Heritage Site in Seoul considered as one of the must-see sites in Korea.

Running from the third Thursday of January to the end of February annually since 2011, the Korea Grand Sale is a nationwide commerce and tourism festival featuring shopping promotions and cultural events for visitors to experience.

During the grand sale period, special theme weeks are organised to enable tourists to enjoy different features.

“Each week we designate Must-Buy week, Must-See week, Must-Do week and Must-Eat week. Visitors from outside Korea can enjoy every week with different features,” she told the medias.

Next year's Korea Grand Sale will start on January 18, 2018 that coincides with the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which Korea will host from February 9-25 in Pyeong Chang city, about 180 kilometres east of Seoul.

“In 2018, when the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympic Games will be held, this shopping festival will be going on including the period of the Winter Olympic Games,” the committee said.

Prior the grand sale festival, the Korea Sale FESTA is held between September 28th and October 31st offering shopping benefits and cultural experiences to both Koreans and foreign visitors.

But the committee said the Korea Grand Sale focuses more on foreign visitors with a number of incentives introduced.

It explained that countless benefits and discounts are offered for shopping not merely at department stores and duty-free shops nationwide but also in other areas, such as transportation, lodging, beauty, entertainment, and food and beverages.

Additionally, an event centre is set up where various convenient services are available, including foreign language interpretation, event information, free WiFi access, and giveaway events.

Ms Kwon added that multiple Korean-wave events like K-pop concerts are set to be performed to entertain audiences during the theme-week festival.

Since last January, the committee has launched the Korea Tour Card, an exclusive card just for foreign tourists, that allows cardholders to use public transport more conveniently, including the subway, buses and taxis. This card provides discount benefits for a variety of tourist spots, including shopping centres, restaurants, and theatres. The card can be bought at transportation centres, shopping malls and airports.

“Currently, this card can be used at about 120 places,” Ms Kwon said, adding that officials in charge were now expanding the coverage of places where the tour card could be accepted.

In addition, Korea has many sites featuring cultural, historical and natural attractions for visitors to admire.


By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update August 2, 2017)

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