Seoul to hold the 73rd National Liberation Day celebrations

  • – Seoul to hold the bell-tolling event to honor the independence patriots on August 15
  • – A large banner saying “It is the Taegukgi that we were not able to hold for 36 years” to be displayed on the “dream board” at Seoul Plaza
  • – Non-competitive bicycle race, holding the national flags, to also take place at Hangang Park

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 13, 2018 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold various events throughout the city to celebrate the 73rd National Liberation Day.

First of all, the “Bell-Tolling” event will take place at Bosingak Pavilion in Jongno, downtown Seoul, at noon on August 15 which is the National Liberation Day. Mayor Park Won-Soon and other 11 distinguished figures are invited to toll the bell, who include fellows from VANK (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea), an internet-based organization that stages a campaign for the correction of information on Korea, the speed skating bronze medalist of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and kid reporters. They will be divided into three groups to toll the bell 11 times each to make a total of 33 times.

Starting from 11:40am before the bell-tolling event, the Jongno-gu Chorus will perform at the site, and the Taegeukgi (Korean national flag) March will be held from the Jongno-gu Office to Bosinggak Pavilion.

A large banner saying “It is the Taegukgi that we were not able to hold for 36 years” will be displayed on the “dream board” at Seoul Plaza from August 13 to 31. It reminds Koreans that there was a tragic history that they had struggled hard for independence.

At the Citizens Hall of Seoul City Hall, Korean movies “I Can Speak” and “Spirits’ Homecoming, Unfinished Story” will be screened free of charge to honor victims of “comfort women.” The two movies are about women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during the World War II. Koreans set August 14 as the day of consoling the victims. In line with this movie-screening, visitors will have a chance to write a message of hope for them. Citizens also can participate in events, such as learning the meaning of Taegeukgi and drawing it, and posting photos of “my Taegeukgi” at the official Facebook page of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Musicals, traditional musical performances, and a celebrating concert by the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will be presented as well.

With a slogan of “2,018 Happy Companions,” a non-competitive bicycle racing event is also scheduled to take place at Yeouido Hangang Park from 8am on August 15. In this race, all participants are allowed to stay below 20km per hour, the recommended speed of bicycles. Those interested may choose one of the two courses – the 40km course (4-hour course) and the 15km (2-hour course). The race will award the participants who successfully save the energy and obey the speed not the persons who arrive the first.




Seoul to Host UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism

7 th Global Summit on Urban Tourism

Seoul is co-organizing with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
the “7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism,”
a global conference on Urban Tourism in September

  • From 16 – 19 September 2018, Hotel Shilla, Seoul, Korea
  • Approximately 500 delegates are expected to attend including mayors of tourism destinations, tourism administrations or organizations, international/local organizations, travel enterprises, professionals, and experts.
  • The Theme ‘A 2030 Vision for Urban Tourism’ will be addressed by a Keynoter B. Joseph Pine II, author of the best-selling book The Experience Economy, who is well-known for first using the term ‘experience economy,’ and then through Four Sessions with sub-topics.
  • The ‘UNWTO Global Youth Summit on Urban tourism’ on Sept 18 is expected to boost the interests of youths and citizens, and their active participation.
  • The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has announced that the 7th Global Summit on Urban Tourism will take place from 16 – 19 September 2018 at Hotel Shilla in Seoul under the theme of A 2030 Urban Tourism Future Vision.
    • ○ The Global Summit on Urban Tourism is an international conference where tourism destination cities share ideas on issues and endeavor to design new strategic approaches under the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. Initiated in 2012 in Istanbul Turkey, Seoul has the honor of organizing the 7th Summit first time in North East Asia.
  • The SMG strategically seized upon the opportunity to hold the UNWTO Summit last November in order to promote Korea as well as Seoul as a global tourism destination and finally to re-address the vision for future tourism.
  • Focusing on the theme ‘A 2030 Vision for Urban Tourism,’ some 500 delegates are expected to attend including mayors of major tourism destinations, heads of tourism administrations or organizations, representatives of international/local organizations, travel enterprises, professionals and experts, and others.
  • The Summit will convene with the Opening Ceremony and proceed to the Keynote Lecture, to the High-Level Panel, to Sessions I to IV and then to the Closing. For a side event, the ‘UNWTO Global Youth Summit on Urban Tourism’ is also scheduled.
    • ○ B. Joseph Pine II who is widely known for first using the term ‘experience economy’ as the author of the best-selling book The Experience Economy will deliver the Keynote Address;
    • ○ Mayors of major tourism destinations, heads of tourism administrations or organizations, and officials of related ministries or agencies will gather around the High-Level Panel to share their cases and vision on urban tourism;
    • ○ Ensuing are Four Sessions on the following topics:
      • – Session I on Looking Towards 2030: An Innovative Approach to Competitiveness in Urban Destinations
      • – Session II on The 4th Industrial Revolution Shaping the Future of Urban Tourism
      • – Session III on Urban Tourism and the Rejuvenation of Cities
      • – Session IV on Fair and Inclusive Tourism: Building Cities for All
    • ○ Notably, the Session IV will be jointly held with the Seoul International Fair & Sustainable Tourism Forum 2018, founded in 2016 with two previous Forums.
  • Following the Closing Ceremony on Sept. 18 comes the Tour Programme, which will offer delegates chances to experience urban tourism in Seoul as discussed in Four Sessions.
  • The SMG is expecting that this international summit would be a great opportunity to promote Seoul’s attraction globally. Especially, 6 tour programmes will be operated as part of the summit programme, in which participants can explore the city of Seoul and deeply understand. Tour programmes include ▴Traditional Seoul Tour ▴Spouse Tour ▴Session-related Tour ▴Night Tour ▴VIP Seoul Tour ▴JSA·DMZ Tour. Participants who want to join tour programmes must pre-register via the official website and can choose their preferred one.
    • ○ Traditional Seoul Tour (16 September): This is a Half Day Tour. Participants will visit Gyengbokgung Palace ~ Namsangol Hanok Village.
    • ○ Spouse Tour (17 September): This is a Full Day Tour for world city mayors and their family. Attractions include Gyengbokgung Palace ~ Insadong ~ Gwangjang Market ~ Lotte World Tower.
    • ○ Session-related Tour Programme (18 September): This is a Half Day Tour in which there are four different theme tours as discussed in each session. This tour is a great way for participants to experience urban tourism in Seoul.
      Tour programmes include ▴Seoul Future Vision Tour (DDP ~ Korean Furniture Museum) ▴Seoul Smart Future Tour (SK T.um ~ N Seoul Tower) ▴Seoul Regeneration Tour (Seoullo7017 ~ Mapo Oil Tank Culture Park) ▴Seoul Fair & Sustainable Tourism Village Tour (Seoul Forest ~ The Picker ~ Oneul Salon ~ The Fair Story ~ Africa Insight ~ Sonyeobangatgan ~ Marymond).
    • ○ Night Tour (18 September): This is the only tour operating at night. Main attractions include DDP and Lotte FITIN. Participants will see the night view, do shopping and much more.
    • ○ VIP Seoul Tour (18 September): This is a Full Day Tour. Attractions include Korean Furniture Museum ~ Insadong ~ Seoullo7017 or Lotte World Tower.
    • ○ Other City Tour (19 September): This is a special tour as South Korea has been getting plenty of attention from the world due to the recent Inter-Korea Summit. Attractions include Joint Security Area (JSA) ~ Imjingak ~ Unification Bridge ~ DMZ Theater ~ Dora Observatory ~ Dorasan Station.
  • A Seoul city official stresses the significance of holding the 7th Global Summit on Urban Tourism in this uncertain, fast-changing environment. “As more cities look to the tourism industry as a growth engine for sustainable and competitive development, they are more aware of the importance of cooperation and collaboration between them. Moreover, the successful holding of the Summit will facilitate and expand the global interests in Korean tourism that Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and April 2018 inter-Korean summit prompted.”

Go to 7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism Web Page

7th Global Summit on Urban Tourism Overview

  • ○ Title: 7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism
  • ○ Dates: 16-19 September, 2018
  • ○ Venue: The Shilla Seoul, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • ○ Theme: A 2030 Vision for Urban Tourism
  • ○ Organized by: UNWTO, Seoul Metropolitan Government
  • ○ Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST)
    Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)
    Seoul Tourism Organization (STO)
  • ○ Official Language: English
  • ○ Website: www.7globalsummiturbantourism.kr
  • ○ Targeted Participants /
    • – UNWTO Affiliate Members
    • – National Tourism Administrations/Organizations
    • – Local authorities, municipalities
    • – International, regional associations/networks of local authorities
    • – City DMOs,
    • – Convention Bureaus
    • – Travel trade representatives
    • – Public authorities in charge of transport
    • – Cultural institutions
    • – Academic institutions
    • – Urban planners, architects
    • – New Platform Tourism Services representatives
    • – ICT providers
  • ○ The programme a glance
    The programme a glance
    Time 16 Sep. 17 Sep. 18 Sep. 19 Sep.
    09:00-10:00 Registration Registration
    Opening Ceremony One-on-One Interview
    10:00-11:00 Keynote Address Session 3 Tour
    Coffee Break
    11:00-12:00 Registration High-Level Panel Coffee Break
    Presentation of UNWTO Report
    12:00-13:00 Session 4
    Luncheon
    13:00-14:00
    Closing Ceremony
    14:00-15:00 Tour Session 1
    15:00-16:00 Tour UNWTO Global Youth Summit on Urban Tourism
    Coffee Break
    16:00-17:00 Session 2
    17:00-18:00
    18:00-19:00 Welcome Dinner
    19:00-20:00 Welcome Reception Night Tour
    20:00-21:00

    ※ Please note that the programme is subject to change.




Seoul supplies firefighting equipment for vulnerable social groups

  • – The Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters has been offering the free installation of 3,651 firefighting equipment for the social groups
  • – 3.4 billion won to be invested to provide the installation to 4,000 households by 2019, and from 2020 it will be extended to 43,000 households each year
  • – About half of the households are now finished being equipped, which accounts for 41.8% of these groups

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 10, 2018 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government has supplied firefighting equipment for vulnerable social groups who have difficulties installing the equipment by themselves, including recipients of the basic livelihood security program or the elderly who are physically challenged. The installation of 3,651 fire extinguishers and 3,430 self-contained fire detectors was offered free of charge to 3,651 households.

The Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters has been offering the free installation of firefighting equipment for the social groups who are prone to fire since 2010, planning to provide a 100% coverage rate by 2022 for the 132,000 households that are not yet equipped with the installation.

Starting from next year, 3.4 billion won will be invested for 4 consecutive years to provide the installation to 4,000 households by 2019, and from 2020 it will be extended to 43,000 households each year. Plans to collaborate with social contribution projects of companies will also be promoted.

Fire accidents have been constantly the cause of deaths in residential buildings including detached houses Although it is a legal responsibility to install firefighting equipment in detached houses, multi-family houses and row houses, only approximately 37.01% out of the 1.98 million households subject to installation are currently equipped with fire protection devices.

According to a recent statistical analysis on fire fatalities over the past 3 years, most fire fatalities occurred in residential buildings, including detached houses with 25 out of 27 deaths (92.5%) in 2015, 30 out of 40 deaths (75%) in 2016 and 22 out of 37 deaths (59%) in 2017.

The Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters has been offering free firefighting equipment to 152,000 households that are recipients of the basic livelihood security program and 75,000 potential welfare recipients among those subject to installation, and about half of the households are now finished being equipped, which accounts for 41.8% of these groups.




Liberating feeling




Why the mayor of Seoul sleeps in a shack




Hay un pervertido en mi retrete




Start-ups and inventors get going with Seoul’s support




It’s all to play for




Official August Opening of Downtown Waterpark at Jungnang Camp Ground

For those of you still planning those last additions to your summer vacation during this unrelenting summer heat wave, how about spending a cool and refreshingly unique retreat at the newly opened Jungnang Camp Ground?

[Jungnang Camp Ground Waterpark opening]

The waterpark, located on the lawn area of the Jungnang Camp Ground, will be open to the public starting Wednesday, August 8. The pre-existing kids’ playground was newly refurbished and equipped with various waterpark facilities, including a slide, jungle gym, undersea tunnel, and ground fountain.

The newly-opened waterpark was created with the purpose of providing a place of retreat within the city, offering enjoyment and sites to see for city residents. In particular, the area was built to ensure safe usage with the thorough management of safety and water quality to maintain the standards of other waterpark facilities children usually frequent.

The Jungnang Camp Ground Waterpark will operate from 11 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays) with 20 minutes break in operation every 40 minutes. Available on a first-come, first-served basis with no age limits (children under seven years of age must be accompanied with a guardian), operation hours will be implemented upon a flexible schedule depending upon the number of people using the facilities and the current weather conditions.

[Jungnang Camp Ground Waterpark opening]
Waterpark Ground Fountain
Waterpark Ground Fountain

[『2018 Jungnang Camp Ground Starry Night Family Cinema』 opening]

The 2018 Jungnang Camp Ground Starry Night Family Cinema is scheduled to open at the Jungnang Camp Ground’s grass plaza for three days from Thursday, August 9, to Saturday, August 11, the day after the opening of the Jungnang Camp Ground Waterpark. The camp ground’s lawn area will be transformed into a movie theater, the waterpark into an outdoor kids’ café, and the Jungnang Forest into a hands-on ecology zone. The entire park will turn into a multiplex facility within nature, complete with a movie theater and play areas.

The waterpark will assign safety personnel and equip lighting to ensure visiting children are able to play late into the day, from 5 pm to 10 pm, especially during the event period. In addition, programs including a variety of hands-on booths, from 5 pm to 10 pm, and nighttime insect explorations, from 7 pm to 9 pm, are scheduled to be held upon the start of the summer vacation so children can enjoy their free time, running and playing at the park to their heart’s content.

Film screenings of The BFG on August 9 Beauty and the Beast on August 10 and Moana on August 11 are in the works, while residents are free to prepare their own lawn mats and snacks to enjoy a movie under the stars of a romantic summer night. Drinks and two snack food trucks will also be available, followed by events promoting eco-friendliness, involving a communal trash clean-up around the park.

All park visitors can freely participate in these events! For further details, please visit the Seoul Natural Attractions and Parks website (http://parks.seoul.go.kr), or call the Jungbu Parks & Landscape Management Office’s Parks & Leisure Department (☎3783-5993).

『2018 Jungnang Camp Ground Starry Night Family Cinema』 opening
Movie Screening Outdoor Kids’ Café Nighttime Bug Exploration
Movie Screening Outdoor Kids’ Café Nighttime Bug Exploration



Seoul, City of Tourism and Festivals, at the Edinburgh International Festival

Seoul, City of Tourism and Festivals, at the Edinburgh International Festival

‘Seoul, the city of tourism and festivals’ is being made known to the whole world at the international assorted arts festival ‘Edinburgh Festival Fringe’ (August 3 – 27, 2018) held in the capital of Scotland in the UK.

As a festival held every summer at Edinburgh, Scotland, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is making its 71st run this year. Last year, the festival was attended by 48 countries with 3,398 teams who participated at over 300 stages for a total of 53,232 performances.

Seoul will have its ‘I·SEOUL·U’ brand logo shown throughout the city of Edinburgh. The logo will also be printed on the 1,200,000 booklets that will be passed out during the festival period.

Seoul will attract European tourists by introducing events to experience all four seasons in Seoul, including the ▴Spring Flower Festival, ▴Hangang Summer Festival, ▴Seoul Lantern Festival in fall, and the ▴Seoul Kimchi Festival in winter, through the promotional items given out during the entire month of August.

Additionally, there will be 4 national performances including the fusion Gugak(Korean traditional music) Tango and drama in order to introduce Korea’s superb cultural arts to other countries at the Edinburgh Festival.

Our city has also provided an event to give out Bitna, a book setting under the background of Seoul written by the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, J. M. G. Le Clézio, to tourists who come to see the Korean performances.




A release of EXO Special Limited Edition of the “Discover Seoul Pass”

Discover Seoul Pass

A special limited edition of the “Discover Seoul Pass” will be released on Monday, August 20, featuring the Korean wave’s most central idol group, “EXO.”

Discover Seoul Pass is a tourist-only travel pass that Seoul City and the Seoul Tourism Organization launched back in July 2016. This optimized item designed for individual foreign tourists who wish to travel around Seoul freely. It allows visitors to enjoy sightseeing all over the city more conveniently and effectively according to their preferences.

Seoul City and the Seoul Tourism Organization collaborated with SM Entertainment to produce 1,000 copies of the EXO special edition Discover Seoul Pass. The goal is to attract foreign fans to Seoul using EXO’s influence – a group which has an enormous fan base overseas – and allow the fans to keep this pass as a tourist souvenir after their trip.

Seoul released 500 copies of a Hallyu Star limited edition Discover Seoul Pass for the first time last year. At that time, other SM Entertainment artists such as Super Junior’s Yesung, Red Velvet, and NCT127 received much attention as they became the face of these passes.

The EXO special edition of Discover Seoul Pass will be released for the 24-hour pass with a total of ten different designs (100 cards per design), including eight individual photo designs (one for each member) and two group photo designs.

As usual, the pass allows free admission to 36 major tourist attractions in Seoul and 30 discounts on major tourist facilities for KRW 39,900.

The city will receive pre-reservations for the special pass through its official website (https://www.discoverseoulpass.com) from Tuesday, August 7. Applicants who have received a purchased ticket through e-mail can purchase the pass at the Myeongdong Tourist Information Center operated by the city or at SMTOWN THEATER. If too many pre-reservations are made, purchase coupons will be sent randomly, otherwise a second draw will be organized or passes will be sold on-site.

Discover Seoul Pass

Discover Seoul Pass




ChangDong61 to host South Korea’s largest Blues festival featuring an impressive line-up of musicians

  • – Seoul Metropolitan Government’s <2018 Seoul Blues Festival> to take place between Oct 13-14. Tickets available starting August 8.
  • – South Korea’s largest Blues festival with an impressive line-up: legendary Blues musicians including ‘Sinchon Blues’, ‘Blues Power’ and more

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 9, 2018 — South Korea’s legendary Blues Group “Sinchon Blues,” the guitarists-led group “Blues Power,” the US-based renowned Blues band “The Norman Jackson Band,” and many more musicians will perform at Platform ChangDong61 this October.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the “2018 Seoul Blues Festival” will take place from October 13 to 14 at Platform ChangDong61. Further details can be found on Platform ChangDong 61 official website at http://www.platform61.kr. The festival’s impressive line-up includes renowned musicians from both South Korea and overseas.

For special performances, South Korea’s legendary Blues group “Sinchon Blues” and “Blues Power” often referred to as the Blues avengers will appear.

Also, there will be collaborative performances between domestic and foreign musicians. South Korea’s Blues musician Kim Mok-kyeong and US-based Blues band “The Norman Jackson Band” will present a joint performance. Meanwhile, the world’s famous acoustic Blues master Felix Slim, SAZA member Choi Woo-joon, and Blues JR Kim Jong-jin will put together an acoustic performance.

In addition, a contest named “Young&Little Musicia,” which aims to discover rising Blues musicians will be held. The contest targets teenagers and college musicians, and the selected musician will be able to participate in the festival. Meanwhile, the best winner will earn a chance to enter the “International Blues Challenge.”

Platform Changdong61 which opened in April 2016 is a multi-cultural center which hosts exhibitions, performances, programs, and more. In particular, its main performance space “RedBox” offers the best music and lighting facilities which has gained much attention from both musicians and audience.