SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is set to hold a number of festivals in an all-out effort to boost the country’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by Beijing’s economic retaliation over South Korea’s deployment of a politically-charged THAAD missile defense system.
At a press conference held on Tuesday, the KTO announced plans for a number of events including a foreign-friendly arts-themed festival at one of the trendiest areas in Seoul, as well as another event aimed at South Koreans who plan to travel during this year’s Chuseok holiday.
‘Welcome Daehak-ro’ is the first to kick off in a series of events scheduled over the next few weeks, catering to visitors from foreign countries through content including performances with English subtitles.
As the title implies, the month-long event, which will be held from September 28 until the end of October, is set to take place at Daehak-ro, also known as ‘College Street’, famous for being home to a number of art galleries and theatres.
Contrary to previous events, ‘Welcome Dahak-ro’ will consist of musicals, performances, seminars and other shows complemented with English subtitles to help attract an international audience, a move that could allow foreign visitors to enjoy a different side of South Korea.
As part of the initiative, the five most well-known shows will be selected and English subtitles will be provided to non-Korean speakers, presenting them with a wider variety of shows to choose from.
Given the location of Daehak-ro, which has a number of tourist spots nearby including Changdeokgung Palace and Dongdaemun Design Plaza, the latest move by the KTO is expected to generate positive economic spinoffs for Seoul’s economy.
“Around 160 performance venues are located at Daehak-ro, and we organized this event to reintroduce the neighborhood and boost its economy,” said Jung Chang-soo, the CEO of the KTO.
In addition, the organization will select 10 places to visit during the month of October, in an effort to encourage South Koreans to travel during this year’s long Chuseok holiday.
Other efforts by Korea Tourism Organization include plans to increase the number of Muslim-friendly restaurants, as the country’s tourism industry looks to the religious community of 1.7 billion people to fill the void left by Chinese tourists.
“Prior to the financial crisis in 2007, the number of outbound tourists nearly doubled the figure for inbound tourists, and the same trend is expected to be manifested this year. We hope to boost the tourism industry in South Korea to cushion the damage by making it more appealing and diverse,” said Jung.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)