A street in Myeongdong -- a popular shopping area for tourists in central Seoul -- is nearly empty on Sunday. (Yonhap)
The culture ministry said Tuesday it will focus on reviving the pandemic-hit culture and tourism industries here, as well as continue to support the spread of "hallyu," or the Korean Wave, around the world in 2021.
Under the plan, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism laid out four major policy goals for the year, which were then divided into 15 agenda items, such as supporting sectors that took a blow from the new coronavirus, helping content producers go digital, strengthening promotions of Korean content and expanding Korean language and culture education abroad.
As part of the efforts, the ministry said it plans to issue accommodation coupons worth 51.6 billion won ($46.1 million), as well as expand loans and postpone loan repayment dates for businesses affected by the pandemic.
To help content producers shift to digital, non-contact platforms, the ministry said it plans to expand relevant platforms. The plan includes spending 26.5 billion won to build a K-pop events venue and supporting production of K-pop material.
While overseas traveling and cultural exchanges have come to a halt amid the pandemic, the ministry said it plans to target potential visitors by strengthening promotions of Korean culture and increasing the number of Korean language institutes and teachers.
"In 2021, the culture ministry will put in all our efforts into making a year where the lives of people recover through culture and our society becomes more embracing and leaps into a leading country in the world," Minister Park Yang-woo said.
The ministry projected exports of local content to reach $11.7 billion this year, up from $10.9 in the previous year, and overall content industry sales to jump 4.8 trillion won to 128 trillion won on the back of these policy goals. (Yonhap)