With the beginning of fall, the peak season for foreign tourists visiting Korea, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has designated the 11 days from September 25 to October 5 as the “2014 Foreign Tourist Hospitality Period” in seven Special Tourist Zones.
▶ 7 Special Tourist Zones: Itaewon, Myeongdong, Namdaemun, Bukchangdong, Dongdaemun Fashion Town, Jongno-Cheonggye, Dadong-Mugyodong
This is the second “Hospitality Period,” following the one held last spring, which are designated to encourage foreign tourists to visit the seven Special Tourist Zones and experience the hospitality of Korean citizens, as well as to improve the image of Seoul. During the first hospitality period, held between May 1 and May 11, a total of 16,139 tourists visited the temporary tourist information centers (seven locations) and were highly pleased with the service they received from the tourism information guides. This year’s project is mainly aimed at tourists from China, which was the country that sent the most visitors to Korea in 2013. From 2015 onwards, this project will be expanded to include tourists from Japan and Southeast Asian countries.
< Number of tourists from top seven countries with most visitors to Korea in 2013 >
During the hospitality period, street banners, placards, and event posters will be placed around each special tourist zone, and promotional materials, such as maps of Seoul, will be distributed at temporary tourism information centers. Foreign-language information guides and hospitality ambassadors from the Visit Korea Committee will volunteer at these centers and provide information services to the tourists.
The “Send-a-Postcard” event will be held at the temporary tourism information centers, allowing foreign tourists to mail postcards back home. This event was popular among tourists during the spring season, with a total of 1,890 postcards being sent abroad. Also, various other events were held, including a traditional fan-making session, restaurant discount coupon giveaways, and a hanbok photo wall. Near the information centers, busking by jazz bands, acoustic guitarists, and K-POP dance teams will take place every day.
※street performances：practice of freely performing music, singing, and dancing in the streets
Meanwhile, during the weekend, exciting pungmulnori performances and a marching band parade will be held in the special tourist zones for the enjoyment of not only foreign tourists but Seoul citizens as well.