Korean government announces May discounts for tourists

April 15, 2014

By Yun Suh-young

Russian tourists disembark from a ferry, called the New Blue Ocean Line connecting Korea and Russia, at the eastern port city of Sokcho, Wednesday. Tourists from Russia can travel without a visa for 60 days here as a visa-waiver program between Korea and Russia went into effect this year. (Yonhap)

The program, planned as an annual event, is aimed at helping the tourism sector during its traditional low-demand season.

Travelers will be offered discounts at more than a thousand restaurants, hotels and entertainment businesses across Korea May 1 to 11, a period the government has designated as ”Tourism Week’’ in a bid to boost tourism.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 1,168 shops have agreed to participate in the program and plan to offer up to 50-percent discounts for their services or products.

Ticket prices at Seoul’s Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) palaces will also be halved during the 11 days. Korea Railroad Corporation will offer 20- to 30-percent discounts on tickets for its three tourism-themed trains ― the V-Train, O-Train and S-Train ― which circle travel destinations in the central region and southern coast.  Rooms will be cheaper at more than 200 hotels during the period.

The program, planned as an annual event, is aimed at helping the tourism sector during its traditional low-demand season before the busy stretch of June, July and August, the ministry said.

The ministry designated Muju of North Jeolla Province, Jecheon of North Chungcheong Province and Tongyeong of South Gyeongsang Province as this year’s three ”Tourism Cities,’’ where schools will be encouraged to temporarily close and companies to cut working hours to help accommodate travelers.

“Koreans on average spend only seven days off during the year, whereas the legal limit is up to 21 days. We want people to use their legal holidays to the fullest. We also hope the number of vacation days will increase in addition to the regular summer and winter holidays,” said Kim Ki-hong, director of the tourism bureau at the culture ministry.

“This is the first year that Tourism Week will be implemented. We plan to designate the last week of September to the first week of October as the second tourism week this year after evaluating the progress of the first,” he said.

For more information on Tourism Week discounts, visit spring.visitkorea.or.kr.  

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