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Korean marina industry set to bloom

Sunbathing and enjoying the ocean waves on a yacht seems like everyone’s dream. And it is coming true here to South Korea.

In Busan, three marina parks are vying to win the hearts of marine sports lovers.

“The Bay 101,” a 15,000-square-meter marina complex, can berth 50 vessels including yachts, boats, jet-skis and others. The operators are planning to present a 23-meter yacht, state-of-the-art jet-skis and a semi submarine for lease to ordinary visitors. 
The Bay 101 in Haeundae. (Busan City Hall)
The Bay 101 in Haeundae. (Busan City Hall)

“With tourist attractions like Dongbaekseom Island and Haeundae Beach nearby, we are certain that marina activities will serve as the icing on the cake for local tourism, shopping and leisure industries,” a spokesman for Kitchen Borie, the operator of the facility, said.

The Bay 101 and two others ― Centum Marina Park and Songjung Marina― together form the Haeundae Marina Leisure District. Based on the know-how attained from operating Suyeongman Bay Yacht center for the 1988 Seoul Olympics’ marine sport competition, the local administration has been supporting the industry since 2005. They expect Korea to have more than 28,000 units of registered yachts and other leisure vessels by 2020.

As part of plans to attract more tourists, there are currently cruise rides that take in all the best ocean viewpoints of Busan.

“You start from the Centum Maria Park, pass through Nurimaru, Dongbaekseom Island, Haeundae Beach, Gwangan Bridge and Gwangalli, and then head back to the Marine City,” said Kim Byung-ki, a Busan City government official. “It’s luxurious and romantic, but also an affordable and practical way to spend your time in Busan,” said Kim Byung-ki, a Busan official.

The central government has also jumped in to give Busan a helping hand.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has joined hands with 10 governmental agencies and announced a set of plans to develop six marinas by 2018, nurture marina-related workforces and increase support for marine sports.

“This project will allow yacht owners to slash their management costs by leasing their vessels, while the public could enjoy marine sports for a bargain and at the same time create new jobs,” Hwang Jong-woo, an Oceans Ministry official said.

By Bae Ji-sook (