The Seoul Municipal Government began to crack down on unlicensed travel guides on Monday at popular tourist sites for foreigners like Gyeongbokgung Palace and the traditional district of Bukchon, six district offices including the Jongno-gu office said on Tuesday.
Recently, a growing number of companies have reportedly hired unlicensed tour guides in violation of the Korean Tourism Promotion Act.
Travel authorities and the district offices of Jongno-gu, Gangnam-gu, Mapo-gu, Jung-gu, Seodaemun-gu and Yeongdeungpo-gu will work together to check all the tour guides working without a license.
The inspectors will closely investigate tour buses with foreigners and buses marked with the names of overseas travel agencies.
Unlicensed tour guides will face heavy fines ― 8 million won ($7,800) for regular travel agencies and 4 million won for overseas travel agencies.
“We will conduct another inspection in October so that compliance with the travel laws will be well-established,” an official from Jongno office said.