Tag Archive | "south korea tourism"

South Korea aims to lure 8.5M foreign tourists this year

South Korea aims to attract 8.5 million foreign tourists this year by luring more visitors from China and Japan, the government said Saturday.

The target is higher than the 7.8 million goal the nation set the previous year. Last year, around 7 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Corp.

They set the higher target for this year as the government earlier designated the next three years as “Visit Korea” years, intended to lure more foreign tourists as part of efforts to bolster the service industry.

The ministry and the state-run tourism agency aim to attract more than 10 million foreign visitors in 2012.

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South Korea holds key to resumption of Mount Kumgang tourism

Despite an agreement between North Korea and South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Group to restart their joint tourism business to Mount Kumgang, it remains unclear whether and when South Korean tourists will again be able to visit the scenic resort on the North’s eastern coast.

The two sides said in a joint press release issued after a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun that, “It was decided to resume the suspended tourism to Mt. Kumgang as soon as possible.”

The North also offered a new carrot to allow the tour of the mountain’s highest peak, called Pirobong.

The cross-border tourism project requires the South Korean government’s support and the latest compromise with its communist neighbor may pave the way for thawing icy inter-Korean relations.

South Korean government officials, however, maintained a cautious attitude before the Hyundai boss returns to Seoul. Hyun is expected to come back to the South later Monday after a weeklong stay in Pyongyang where she met the North’s leader. Read the full story

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South Korean island smartens up ahead of ASEAN summit

South Korea’s Jeju Island is sprucing itself up, ready to greet visitors with various cultural events and programs ahead of the summit between President Lee Myung-bak and the leaders of Southeast Asian countries, the local government said Wednesday.

South Korea is set to host a series of summits and ministerial meetings among leaders of ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, on the country’s resort island of Jeju on June 1-2.

Jeju, a volcanic island dominated by South Korea’s highest mountain Halla, has been preparing thoroughly for the upcoming Korea-ASEAN summit, aiming to boost tourist recognition.

With a humid subtropical climate warmer than that of mainland Korea, Jeju has developed a culture and language that are distinct from the rest of the country due to the relatively isolated location. Home to thousands of local legends and myths, Jeju is considered a top vacation spot. Read the full story

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Travel spending of foreign tourists in South Korea hit record breaking high

Foreign tourists spent quite generously in South Korea last year as a weaker Korean currency eased their burden of visiting Asia’s fourth-largest economy, central bank data showed Saturday.

Foreigners’ travel spending in South Korea reached a record USD9.02 billion in 2008, up from USD6.09 billion the previous year, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). 

The 2008 figure is the highest since 1980 when BOK began compiling related data.

South Korea Tourism

South Korea Tourism

“The won sharply lost ground to the dollar last year while the Japanese currency gained strength.

More Japanese people visited Korea last year,” said an official at State-run Korea Tourism Organization.

The green buck serves as benchmark for the won-yen cross rate.

Korea’s won fell 25.7 percent against the U.S. dollar last year, becoming one of the world’s worst-performing currencies.

Meanwhile, South Koreans’ spending on overseas travel sharply declined due to a weaker won and the economic slump.

Their spending amounted to .6 billion in 2008, down 25.4 percent from the previous year, according to the bank’s data.

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