SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, April 24, 2018 – With the upcoming inter-Korean summit raising expectations for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the number of foreign tourists visiting Korea in March this year has reached 1,370,000, which was a 10.7 percent increase from the same period of the last year. Chinese tourists also increased by 11.8 percent to 400,000.
To meet this atmosphere, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will run the Seoul Welcome Week 2018 from April 25 to May 5 for international tourists to the city. The Welcome Week coincides with Japan’s Golden Week which will be from April 28 to May 6 and China’s Labor Day holidays from April 29 to May 1.
First of all, all foreign visitors using the Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport will be greeted by a welcoming banner saying “Welcome to Seoul” written in English, Chinese, Japanese and Thai.
Welcome Centers will be run during the Welcome Week at the city’s five tourist spots in Cheonggye Plaza, Myeongdong, Namsan, Hongdae, and COEX in Gangnam. The Center’s foreign language-speaking staff will provide tourist information the visitors need and hold diverse fun events, such as photo-taking, postcard-writing, and gift events.
From May 1 through 5 at Cheonggye Plaza in downtown Seoul, seven participating tourism enterprises will operate Korean tour experience zones. Visitors will have opportunities to enjoy K-Beauty, B-boy, Taekwondo and other cultural occasions here.
Especially this year, the main stage and a large-scale screen are set up in Cheonggye Plaza for diverse events and performances. For instance, make-up artists of famous idol groups will hold a “K-beauty make-up class” to demonstrate how to wear Korean girl bands’ make-up; stylists of celebrities will share their knowhow about styling at a “K-beauty styling class”; and mini fashion shows, B-boy and Taekwondo performances and busking concerts are also scheduled to take place.
In addition, international visitors will get 20 percent discount for Seoul City Tour Bus and enjoy discounted “Buxi” and “i Trip” services – “Buxi” is O2O (online to offline) ride-sharing service, and “i Trip” is the integrated O2O platform for individual tourists. The both are the best tour services designated by the city government last year.
Meanwhile, as part of efforts to eliminate illegal activities at tourist sites, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and autonomous district offices in cooperation with the Tourist Police will have special inspections during the Welcome Week on shops, restaurants, and taxis. They will detect any violation of open price system at the shop, requests for unreasonable bills, and refusals of passengers to ride a taxi as well as no use of the meter on a taxi. Trash bins and cleaning staff will be also added to the streets at tourist destinations such as Insa-dong, Myeongdong, Sinchon and Hongdae to maintain the cleanliness of the neighborhood.