Choi Yoon-hee, second vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, introduces a new campaign to encourage people to travel safely and in small groups, at a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Wednesday that it would inject an additional 40 billion won ($35.2 million) into South Korea’s tourism industry in the form of loans in the next two months.
“As of the end of September, tourism industry sales had dropped by 9 trillion won compared to last year,” Choi Yoon-hee, second vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, said during a press conference Wednesday. In its 2020 budget, she explained, the ministry allocated 625 billion won for loans for the tourism industry, and by the end of September it had lent out 570 billion won, reflecting the high demand for support.
During the conference, Choi also said the ministry would not organize Travel Week in November as planned, but would instead launch a safe travel campaign.
“We are not encouraging the public to travel at certain limited periods and also in large groups,” Choi said. She added that the government has not decided when to resume the distribution of discount coupons to encourage travel. The decision is expected next week, she said.
“For our campaign, we will recommend safe and less crowded places on the Visit Korea website starting Oct. 28. The recommendation is made based on an analysis of telecom, transportation and credit card use data,” Choi said.
Throughout the conference, the Culture Ministry emphasized multiple times that its priorities were public safety and preventing the spread of the virus.
“All of our plans are flexible. They can be canceled anytime depending on the virus situation,” Choi added.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org