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CNN picks 12 reasons to visit Korea this year

A capture of the CNN GO website (The Visit Korea Committee)
A capture of the CNN GO website (The Visit Korea Committee)
This year is the best time for shopaholics, K-pop fanatics and foodies to check out Korea, CNN’s travel and culture information site reported, selecting 12 topevents and projects lined up in 2012 to lure overseas travelers.

With 2010-2012 designated as “Visit Korea Year,” the country is offering exclusive discounts and promotions designed to make Korea more attractive to tourists.

The coupons, train ticket discounts of up to 30 percent, free shuttle buses and hotel deals “won’t wait around forever,” CNN GO said, urging visitors not to miss the final year of the two-year campaign.

Among the 12 reasons was the “Korea Grand Sale,” which kicked off with a week-long welcome event at Incheon International Airport on Jan. 9. The event offers lottery tickets, bazaars, K-pop star performances as well as special discount offers at Korea’s major department stores.

CNN GO also took note of the popularity of Korean pop music around the globe.

In 2012, several big musical events are lined up, with the upcoming Big Bang concert, Se7en’s new album and 2NE1’s collaboration with Big events such as the Seoul Music Awards, K-pop Cover Dance Festival and Hallyu Dream Festival will also be held this year.

The website also introduced 40 Korean foods not to be missed, mentioning the 2012 Korea Food Festival in Jeonju as one of the best events of the year.

The Olleh Smartphone Film Festival was also mentioned as an important event. The festival, which will be held from March 19-21, includes a competition component for professional and amateur filmmakers alike with cash prizes of up to 50 million won for the best short films shot with a smartphone.

Also mentioned among the 12 reasons were: The 2012 Expo in Yeosu, the launch of the new express train ITX ― which will make it easier for people to travel between Seoul and Chuncheon in Gangwon Province ― and the Seoul International Marathon.

By Shin Hae-in (