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Moon aims to boost tourism by promoting vacation days

July 12,2017
President Moon Jae-in proposed Tuesday a national campaign to encourage the Korean people to spend their summer vacations in rural villages of the country instead of going overseas, in order to make up for the tourism industry’s loss from the plummeting number of Chinese tourists.

Moon’s proposal was a response to Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Young-rok’s request, made at the cabinet meeting in the morning. According to Park Soo-hyun, presidential spokesman, Kim said the vacation season in July will be a good opportunity to boost domestic tourism and regional economies, and asked ministries to urge public servants, companies and economic lobby groups to spend summer vacations in agricultural and fishing villages.

“He made a great proposal of rural village tourism,” Moon responded. “I have promised that I will use up all my vacation days, and ministers must also do so. Ministers should also encourage public servants to use up all their annual leaves.”

“A life with vacation” was one of Moon’s presidential pledges to improve Korea’s notoriously poor working conditions. “I will revise the system to allow workers to use their annual paid leave consecutively to allow more than a two-week summer vacation,” Moon said during the campaign.

Aboard the presidential plane heading to Washington on June 28, Moon also told reporters he will use up all his vacation days. According to the regulation governing a public servant’s annual leave, a public servant who works for more than six years is entitled to 21 vacation days per year. Because Moon worked for the Roh Moo-hyun Blue House and served as a lawmaker, he worked in the public service for more than six years and has 21 paid vacation days. He used one day on May 22, resting at his private residence in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang.

Moon’s predecessors have normally spent five days of summer vacation at the end of July or early August. Moon will also start his vacation around the same time, Blue House sources said. It remains to be seen where Moon will have his first presidential summer vacation. He will likely spend time in his private residence in Yangsan.

BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]