Seolbong Lake in Icheon, Gyeongigi-do, is part of the venue of the Icheon Ceramic Festival that took place from April 28 to May 14.
(Photo: Icheon Ceramic Festival)
The government designated the period April 29 to May 14 as a time to travel in Korea to reinvigorate the domestic tourism industry.
During Tourism Week, about 700 events are taking place across the nation and 15,224 companies are giving discounts, The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) said. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is also offering diverse programs to tourists traveling in regional sightseeing spots in cooperation with 17 metropolitan local governments.
Each region’s representative programs catering to travelers during the tourism week, “Tour Dure” events, and cultural tourism programs are expected to enthrall travelers at this time.
Eight regions, including Seoul, Gyeongi-do and Daegu, are operating their own representative tourism programs. Gyeonggi-do is offering “Wonderful Ceramic Culture Program” in which Incheon, Yeoju, and Gwangju cities participate in connection with the hosting of the Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale 2017.
Yeoju City offers a tour program using the Geyonggang subway line, combining the ceramic biennale, a regional festival and theme tours, on five occasions. Icheon operates a tour program catering to parents to the international ceramic biennale and Icheon hot springs.
Gwangju also offers a tour program to the Hwadam Woods and the international biennale. Tourists are given a chance to experience hands-on ceramic-making.
Chungcheongbuk-do is providing its own regional representative tour programs during the spring tourism week. Oriental medical experience and Oriental soap-making programs are offered at the Uirimji, the nation’s oldest reservoir, in Jecheon, on April 29 and 30. Historical culture lectures, spring welcoming walkathons and other events are taking place at Chungju, Goesan, and Yeongdong areas. Those who post photos and videos on trips to Chungcheongbuk-do will be given gifts until May 14.
Ulsan Metropolitan City is attracting tourists with programs in which they can appreciate spring flowers and enjoy historical and cultural experiences. At the Daehwagang Park, a spring flower welcoming event is taking place from May 11 to 14 in which visitors can enjoy diverse events, including a fashion show and a talk/concert show inviting Lee Hyo-jae. At a pottery village in Mt. Oego-san in Ulju-gun, the Ulsan Pottery Festival is taking place from May 4 to May 7. At the plaza of Buk-gu Ward Office, Ulsan Soeburi Festival is taking place from May 12 to May 14. Shuttle bus services are offered during Tourism Week.
The government introduced Tourism Week as part of efforts to boost domestic tourism demand during the second extended meeting of tourism-related ministries at Cheong Wa Dae on Feb. 3, 2014.
The government steps included providing vacation subsidies to workers at small- and medium-sized businesses and creating tourism weeks twice a year in May and September, during which students can leave for short vacations so families can go on domestic trips together. Such experience programs included Camping Week, Temple Stay Full of Happiness and Rural Village Tour Family Week.
They will be given bigger discounts. Government ministries, including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Cultural Heritage Administration, collaborated in presenting tour programs to offer tourists a package of benefits.
The outcome of a survey conducted by the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute in 2014 and 2015 showed that about 3.72 million Koreans travelled across the nation during spring and fall tourism weeks, representing a 25.2 percent surge over the 2.97 million Korean travelers that made trips during a similar periods of 2014, contributing to boosting awareness toward domestic tourism and reinvigorating local economies.