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S. Korea seeks qualitative growth of inbound tourism from China

2018/05/15 15:44

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SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Tuesday it will pursue qualitative growth of the inbound tourism market from China as Beijing partially lifted its suspension of Korea-bound package tours.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it will first focus on boosting the Chinese consumers' sentiment to visit South Korea and restoring the distribution channels through aggressive marketing.

Its plan also includes giving more incentives to local travel companies dedicated for Chinese group tours that have better programs. There are currently 155 firms that are authorized to operate group tours from China in South Korea.

The renewal cycle for the certificate to run the group tours will be reduced to one year from the current two in order to eliminate low-quality programs, it added.

The ministry said it will push to establish a system to jointly supervise the tourism industry with the Beijing government.

Earlier this month, major Chinese cities lifted their suspension of package tour programs to South Korea, which was imposed amid a diplomatic feud between the two countries.

The bilateral rift over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea has brought Chinese group tours to the South virtually to a halt since 2017.

South Korea and China began to recover bilateral exchanges in affected areas, including tourism, entertainment and other commercial sectors, following the December summit of their leaders.

In this file photo, taken April 13, 2018, tourists walk with their luggage on Myeongdong Street in downtown Seoul. (Yonhap) In this file photo, taken April 13, 2018, tourists walk with their luggage on Myeongdong Street in downtown Seoul. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr

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