SEOUL, April 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The culture ministry held a ceremony Wednesday to mark the launch of a project to transform the former presidential office compound of Cheong Wa Dae into a tourist landmark about a year after it was opened to public access.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has said it will lure more local and foreign tourists by creating a tourism cluster linking Cheong Wa Dae with tourist attractions in its surrounding areas in central Seoul.
On Wednesday, the ministry unveiled a draft plan for hiking tour routes with 10 different themes, including experiencing a royal court of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), a cultural stroll, an art road and mountain climbing.
“Cheong Wa Dae is an attractive and competitive tourist spot where the history of South Korean presidents, culture and arts, nature and cultural heritage co-exist,” Culture Minister Park Bo-gyoon said during the ceremony in the main garden of the compound.
“The government will make efforts to add Cheong Wa Dae to world tourists’ bucket lists, with today’s ceremony serving as the starting point.”
Also on hand at the event were figures from all walks of life, including mountaineer Um Hong-gil; Kang Sue-jin, director of the Korean National Ballet; K-pop dancer Aiki; and volleyball players Park Jeong-a and Bae Yoo-na.
Cheong Wa Dae had been the presidential office and residence for over seven decades before President Yoon Suk Yeol relocated his office to the former defense ministry building in Seoul’s Yongsan district and opened the former compound to the public in May last year.
During the Joseon Dynasty, it was used as the rear garden of Gyeongbok Palace, the main royal palace.
After the relocation, Cheong Wa Dae became the newest tourist attraction in the capital, and a place for art exhibitions and concerts.