The Seoul municipal government plans to develop diverse tour programs in an effort to lure more foreign tourists to the capital and increase their convenience, officials said Tuesday.
A total of 125 tours will be developed by 2018 to reflect the unique tastes and preferences of tourists from different cultural backgrounds, according to the officials.
The city first plans to launch four tour courses for Japanese this year with a focus on diverse hands-on experiences, as tourists from the neighboring country tend to come here several times and have an interest in K-pop culture, according to the officials.
The programs are expected to include a chance to sample the country’s counter culture and visits to traditional markets, they added.
For Chinese tourists, the itineraries will be filled with visits to major tourist destinations and shopping centers.
For visitors from Southeast Asian countries where hallyu, or Korean pop culture, is popular, more time will be allocated to enjoying Korean music and dramas. Other programs, such as flower festivals in spring and skating outings in winter, will highlight the distinct seasonal features of Korea.
For Westerners, the focus will be on visits to traditional heritage sites in the city, such as temples and traditional villages, as they are often interested in East Asian culture, city officials said.
“We’ve decided to develop fresh tour programs in consideration of different tastes of people from different countries, as a growing number of tourists come here on their own,” a city official said.
“We will come up with diverse programs in cooperation with experts, and actively promote them via tour maps and online.”
Last year, some 10.04 million foreign tourists visited the capital city of South Korea. It was the first year that the number of visitors from overseas surpassed the 10 million mark, according to data from the Seoul Institute. (Yonhap)