SEOUL, Jan.21 (Korea Bizwire) – To celebrate the year of tourism in Korea, visa fees for Chinese tour groups will be waived for a one year period.
In addition, starting from the latter half of this year, tourism will be linked to Hallyu content, and a ‘Hallyu Visa’ for Chinese tourists on short trips will be offered.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the new arrangements at the opening ceremony of the ‘2016 Year of Korean Tourism’ event held in Beijing.
The age limit for multiple entry visas will be lowered to 55 from 60, and the number of days Chinese tourists will be allowed to stay in the country will be increased to 90 days from 60 days.
Six new transportation routes between Korea and China will also be established.
Docks for cruise ships will be expanded, and information centers for cruises will be established in Jeju and Busan.
An instant cash refund up to one million won will be provided at 10,000 duty free stores across the country.
Through the new arrangements, the ministry hopes to attract eight million Chinese tourists this year.
To tackle the Chinese online travel industry, which is growing 30 percent each year, joint marketing efforts in collaboration with popular local portal sites in China will be established, and tourist packages highlighting regional attractions will be developed.
In addition, big data will be used to create marketing strategies targeting each age group, social class and income.
Targeting young tourists, Hallyu, shopping and beauty will be included in packages, with a focus on health care and vacation for middle aged tourists, and childcare and cultural heritage for tourists visiting in family units.
A total of 10 billion won will be invested to develop quality content related to traditional culture such as historical sites from the Baekjae and Shilla dynasties.
New K-Travel Bus services will operate between local airports and tourist spots, so that Chinese tourists can experience regions other than Seoul.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)