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October festivals seek to draw tourists

The Visit Korea Committee will host a series of festivals across the country starting next month to attract more foreign tourists, the committee announced on Monday.

Things will kick of with “Hallyu Dream Festival” (www.hallyudreamfestival.or.kr), which is scheduled from Oct. 1-3 in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.

Organized by the North Gyeongsang Province government, the three-day event will include a K-pop concert and dance competition. The Hallyu Dream Concert will be held on Oct. 3 at the Gyeongju citizen stadium featuring 13 K-pop groups including Super Junior, Kara and TVXQ.

The Cover Dance Festival, which invites K-pop fans from around the globe, will be held at the Gyeongju gymnasium.

More than 1,700 amateur dance teams from 64 countries have submitted their video entries and the selected 16 teams will be invited for the final competition on Oct. 2, according to the Visit Korea Committee.

The hallyu festival will be followed by the Korea Food Festival (www.koreafoodfestival.or.kr) in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province from Oct. 20-24. 
Participants of a K-pop dance festival perform during the qualification round on Sept. 11 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California. (Visit Korea Committee)
Participants of a K-pop dance festival perform during the qualification round on Sept. 11 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California. (Visit Korea Committee)

The five-day festival at the Jeonju World Cup stadium is designed to promote traditional Korean cuisine. Free cooking classes and opportunities to try different types of Korean beverages will be offered during the festival.

From Oct. 21-24, the Busan International Fireworks Festival (www.bff.or.kr) will take place on Gwangalli Beach and around the Gwangan Bridge area and will feature various showcases, including opera “Turandot,” Korean classical music ensembles from the Busan National Gugak Center and also a K-pop concert.

In November, the Jeju Olle Walking Festival (www.ollewalking.co.kr) unfolds on scenic trails on Jeju Island, the most popular tourism destination in Korea. Participants will walk along five different courses across the scenic island, fully experiencing numerous oreum, small volcanic mountains, the coast and stone walls.

And during the festival, each village on the walking path will provide local food and diverse cultural events to the participants, according to the organizer.

The Visit Korea Committee also announced on Monday that it will extend the Korea Grand Sale event, a shopping-oriented tourism festival, which will begin on Jan. 9 and last through Feb. 29.

More than 20,000 department stores, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, theme parks and other hospitality-related establishments will participate in the nationwide campaign, offering a wide range of discount options for foreign tourists, the committee said.

“We’re hoping to generate more than 13 billion won ($11 million) through the Korean Grand Sale,” said Han Kyung-ah, the marketing director of the Visit Korea Committee.

In order to attract more than 10 million foreign tourists in 2011, the organization will continue its effort to develop more “high-standard,” tour programs, according to Han.

“We’ll start a campaign to improve the service quality of local restaurants. We’ll also launch tour programs in more spots across the country,” Han added.

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)
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