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Ministries combine to stimulate tourism market

Nov 04,2017
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Cultural minister Do Jong-hwan, right, shakes hands with finance minister Kim Dong-yeon at a meeting to discuss ways to stimulate the sluggish tourism market. [MINISTRY OF CULTURE, SPORTS AND TOURISM]
The Korean government is working to diversify its target markets when it comes to attracting inbound travelers to stimulate the sluggish tourism industry. It will try to take advantage of the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February to draw in travelers from a variety of countries instead of relying heavily on those coming from China.

Do Jong-hwan, the minister of culture, sports and tourism, joined a meeting Friday organized by Kim Dong-yeon, deputy prime minister for economy and minister of strategy and finance to discuss ways to combine the efforts of the government and the private sector. Presidents of travel agencies and hotels as well as other tourism sector experts also joined to share their expertise.

Until April, group travelers from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines will be allowed to enter the country through Yangyang International Airport in Gangwon, and the government will invest in tour guides fluent in Vietnamese, Thai and Arabic. Medical tourism programs will add more talented medical experts and technicians to accommodate travelers coming to Korea for plastic surgery or other procedures.

More short-term tour programs for international travelers transferring at airports in Korea will also be prepared.

A new tourism strategy committee will be set up by the end of the year to come up with and plan more programs to stimulate the tourism industry.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]