The government said Friday it will designate the 2018 Winter Games host city of PyeongChang as a special district and launch a large-scale development project for the successful international event and for sustainable regional growth.
During a meeting of the commission in charge of supporting the 2018 Olympics in South Korea's alpine city of PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, the government unveiled a comprehensive plan to develop the city and the surrounding areas in Gangwon Province over the next two decades.
Designating the region of some 27.4 square kilometers as a special district, the government plans to invest 3.3 trillion won (US$3.1 billion) by 2032 to turn it into a mecca of winter sports and a major tourist destination, according to the Prime Minister's Secretariat.
The district will be divided according to regional features into five special zones such as a winter sports mecca, regional economic development hub and eco-friendly tourist destination, the Secretariat said.
The two-phase plan will include some 40 detailed projects, it said, adding most of the investment will be made by 2018 to host a successful Winter Games.
It is expected to generate 10.5 trillion won in gross regional product and create 264,390 jobs for 20 years, according to the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements.
Stressing the importance of preventing any waste of resources after hosting international events, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won said, "(The plan) should be aimed at a continued regional development after a successful hosting of the PyeongChang Olympics."
The commission, made up of 20 government officials from relevant ministries and local governments, is in charge of deliberating and coordinating policies regarding the 2018 international festival.