SEOUL, Apr. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — A group of 8,000 employees from a Chinese company will visit South Korea next month to taste Korean traditional ginseng chicken soup, the Seoul city government said Wednesday.
The largest signal tour group from Chinese health care company Joymain Science & Technology (Zhongmai Group) will arrive in Seoul on May 5 and May 10 in two groups on an employee incentive trip, and have a “samgyetang” dinner in central Seoul on May 6 and May 10 respectively, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said.
The city government will set up 400 dinner tables for the guests and serve beer, kimchi and drinks made from ginseng, as well as offer other services during their five-day trip.
“The city government believes that Zhongmai Group’s mass trip to Seoul will help promote interest in Korean food and culture in China,” said Kim Eui-seong, a city government official in charge of the event.
The tourists will also attend a concert to see artists who participated in the original soundtrack albums of the South Korean hit television series “Descendants of the Sun” on the banks of the Han River, the officials said.
The city government earlier allowed Zhongmai employees to receive visas through a simple online procedure as part of efforts to lure more Chinese mass tour groups.
In recent years, Chinese firms have been sending thousands of employees to South Korea on incentive trips.
In March, 6,000 employees from Aolan International Beauty Group, a cosmetics and health supplements company based in China’s southern province of Guangzhou, came for a week-long tour, followed by another 4,200 from a Shanghai-based financial group who visited this month.
The number of Chinese visitors to South Korea rose 17 percent in the first two months of this year to 1.07 million on the back of growing popularity of South Korean TV shows and K-pop.
The visit was arranged by the city government along with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and other related government agencies to better export samgyetang.
South Korea first exported the famous local dish consumed to help people overcome the summer heat to the United States in August 2014 after 10 years of trying.
The Seoul government hopes that overseas demand for the chicken dish will gain momentum as a free trade agreement with China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, took effect in December.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during his South Korean visit last year that he loved samgyetang and would recommend the dish to his people, paving the way for the dish to make inroads into the Chinese market.’