In the first half of 2014, the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea (2.76 million) posted a record growth rate of 54% y-o-y growth. Mayor Park Won Soon engaged in tourism marketing in West China in an effort to ride on the current boom.
[Mayor Park Won Soon introduces Seoul tourism to people from travel agencies in Chengdu, Sichuan Province]
He engaged in the said tourism marketing in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, which is growing as a core city of the Western Development Project being promoted by the Chinese Government. Sichuan Province has a population of 80 million, compared to the 10 million of Seoul. The province is the hometown of Deng Xiaoping, the site of Shu Han from the Three-Kingdoms Period (220-280), and is known for its spicy food.
Mayor Park Won Soon gave a presentation at an explanatory session about Seoul tourism. He also signed a Seoul-Sichuan Friendly City Agreement with Governor Wei Hong that would see an up to 50% discount offered to those from Sichuan Province, when using 48 facilities in Seoul (such as Lotte World, Seoul City Tour Bus, museums, non-verbal performances, etc.) and to those from Seoul, when using 30 facilities in Sichuan Province (including Deng Xiaoping’s old house, Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage, the Stone Sculpture Art Museum, etc.), effective December 1, 2014.
In his presentation, Mayor Park Won Soon introduced new tourism resources in Seoul, such as Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and Sebit Island, which opened in November 2014, along with the good tourism products certification system. His introduction included places offering visitors a first-hand experience of unique Korean culture, good shopping centers, and places for gourmet tourists, in step with the new Hallyu (Korean Wave) boom associated with the TV drama You from a Star
[Mayor Park Won Soon gives a presentation on Seoul tourism]
Sichuan Province has become the ninth local government of a foreign country to which the SMG has offered such a benefit, after Hokkaido, cities covered by One-Asia Pass (i.e., Deli, Tokyo, Jakarta, and Taipei), San Francisco, Honolulu, and Houston.
Seoulites wishing to ask for such a discount in Sichuan Province need to have a discount coupon issued from http://www.oneasiapass-tokyo.jp
At present, the number of South Koreans living in Sichuan Province comes to a mere 3,000 but is expected to continue to increase with the economic development of the province and stronger ties with South Korea.
Commenting on his efforts to boost Chinese tourism in Seoul, Mayor Park Won Soon said, “In 2013, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Seoul outdid that of Japanese tourists and rose to the top position. I hope that my explanatory session about Seoul tourism, held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and the signing of the Seoul-Sichuan Friendly City Agreement with Governor Wei Hong will go a long way in invigorating exchanges between the people of the two countries in the economic, cultural, and administrative sectors.”