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Korea, Southeast Asia team up to boost tourism, jobs

Korea and Southeast Asian countries have teamed up in promoting Vietnam and Laos as vacation spots for Korean travelers in a new training program for leisure and hospitality professionals in those two increasingly popular tourist destinations.

The program will also boost people-to-people exchanges and understanding, organizers said.

The ASEAN-Korea Center is hosting two sets of two-day training programs for travel agents and tourism specialists on topics such as Korean tourism, language and culture on June 24-25 in Laos and on June 27-28 in Vietnam.

The ASEAN-Korea Center program, called “ASEAN Tourism Human Resources Development,” was organized with the help of Laotian and Vietnamese government agencies. Sixty participants from Laos and 50 from Vietnam will take part.

Though still small, the number of Korean visitors in recent years to Laos doubled to 34,000 in 2012 from just 17,000 in 2009. Favorite travel spots for Korean tourists include the Laotian city of Luang Prabang.

The number of Korean visitors to Vietnam reached about 700,000 in 2012, a 30 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

(ephilip2011@heraldcorp.com)
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