Concerns are rising that visitors may suffer from a shortage of upper class accommodations in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, where the World Expo 2012 will kick off this Friday.
According to a survey conduced by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, local travel agencies expressed worries that the number of major hotels sits at four in the southern coastal city.
The respondents said a large portion of local and foreign visitors will have to lodge at hotels in Gwangju and other neighboring cities, about 90 minutes from Yeosu.
Or they may have to resort to cheaper accommodations like motels and inns, according to the travel agencies.
More than 50 percent of the respondents picked increasing accommodations and offering transportation conveniences as the key factors for vitalization ― or the success in attracting many visitors ― of the 93-day event, the KCCI said.
About 31 percent said overseas advertisement of the Yeosu Expo is the most important, followed by 11.9 percent who picked active campaigns at home.
Others (4.8 percent) said it is necessary for the organizing committee to hold concerts of K-pop stars to attract more foreign visitors.
Meanwhile, the organizing committee is confident the global fair will be successful.
“The Yeosu Expo will present a new concept of Expo, one that allows spectators to interact with the exhibits rather than simply view them,” a committee official said.
He said visitors, for instance, will be able to see images of whales grow on the Expo Digital Gallery above their heads by feeding them text messages of hope.
Whereas the expos in the 20th century were focused on the most cutting-edge innovations of the time such as airplanes, the latest world fairs have been themed around common issues of interest for all of mankind ― the environment and urban living.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org)